The home library is must for any person who loves reading. There is an unambiguous connection that most of us have with the books that we have read or collected! Reading is an important activity for your mental health as breathing is for physical health. You might not be aware of, that all leaders around the world are the great readers. All successful people in the world are voracious readers who have a huge own collection of books at their home. In olden days, they always wish to read any time whatever they want to read must be available at an arm length. That’s the reason they have their home library as a separate room in their house like the meditation or Pooja room in many Hindu & Buddhist families.
The home library can either be a separate room or it can be a part of the wall cum floor plan. The most important thing to design library would be the exact spot where you wish to place & how accessible or private you want it to be! Once you have decided on these fundamental issues you can start looking at the various home library design options that are being invented across the globe!
For an ardent book lover the home library is as special & important as one’s dream house! It is the place where one spends a considerable time & that is the reason you need to pay special attention while designing it! Any above average literate family usually have a small collection of minimum 100 books in the home. Hence if not a dedicated room you must have at least a small corner, the knowledge corner in your house. Home libraries are therefore becoming more popular.
Here are some tips to design library for your house:
01. Look At Your Home Layout:
First, prepare a furniture layout for your home library. Depending on your home design & layout, & how much space you have & can afford, choose location for home library which has a least disturbance with other activities of your home. To design library room with a door is an ideal if you have enough space in your house. Or else a small quiet corner space is also good for small library design!
All libraries require a great place to sit. Based on your space, determine how many tables, chairs & sofa can fit comfortably. If your home library is only for few persons, a good & nice oversized chair could be a perfect one.
02. Natural Light, Air & Ventilation:
Reading book will be more enjoyable when there is cool natural breeze available with bright natural light! This will provide the immense inspiration to read & enjoy your reading. Library design with the great outside view from window will bring the natural light & also lift your creativity level while reading & enjoying your books. One can also use a home library for relaxing & stimulation of the mind. It can be your meditation room too if you have shortage of space.
A small balcony with a sit-out for 2 persons overlooking a small garden or green area or a natural beauty can also be an ideal place to relax with cup of coffee or tea while reading & also for any discussion with your friend!
03. Indoor Environment & Interior:
Indoor environment should be inspiring & stimulating. Design proper lighting & ventilation inside your library space. In the daytime natural light may be sufficient for reading. In the evening you will need an artificial lighting. A good indoor environment of home library design will keep the person recharge for reading or research work.
You should design library with the environment that is spacious enough to hold books, computers & study area. This may be a room or a large corner of a room.
The interior should be appealing while accommodating all your present & future collection. Library bookshelves made from glass will protect your books from dust. The library bookshelves which are open are also welcome when there is no dust nuisance.
Try to cover full height of walls. Design shelves as per different size & height of the books. Placing only one book will occupy lot of space if you have a large collection. Hence you may prefer to place one behind other when space is limited.
Keep all those books, which you need frequently in centre one portion while those occasionally needed can be kept in lower and upper shelves. Adjustable glass shelves will be flexible & good to suit different size of books.
A writing table or a desk with desktop is must. A small arm chair, stool, sofa or a swing would be an added luxury for the comfortable space to read.
04. Children Corner:
Don’t forget to add a small corner for children’s books & appropriate furniture for children in your home library.
Must Read: Ideal Dimension for Children’s Furniture
05. Space for Valuable Collections:
In library design also plan an appropriate space for your collection of Music DVDs or CDs as well as hard copies of family photo albums. There can also be a place for your invaluable collections & art pieces.
06. How Many Books You Have?
Determine how many books do you have? How many do you keep on adding every year? Allocate space accordingly. Remember, a dedicated reader will never dispose of books during his lifetime. The library design should be such that it is able to hold all the books you own! Assess your storage need & decide what kind of library bookshelves you need, like bookshelves from floor to ceiling or low height shelves, etc. If you have a smaller collection, then design library with open shelves for a modern decor touch!
07. Size of Room:
Size of the room will depend on number of books you have! A small room of 12’ x 12’ would be able to accommodate around 5000 books if placed compacted. But then it won’t have space for armchair or swing. You need a larger space to accommodate it.
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Be dedicated to the reference library to provide a quiet study space.
08. Life of Your Home Library:
Remember an ardent reader & book lover will never dispose of books during his lifetime. On the contrary he will keep on adding to collection. Hence it should be designed for lifetime from all the perspectives. If you are short of funds you can add on periodically or keep on upgrading it at regular intervals. Use your materials accordingly.
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09. Budget of Your Home Library:
Library is not a place for show off, the functional utility is more important. Further unless the entire family is book lover, spend optimum on interiors. In any case it would not be too much!
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10. Lifestyle & Culture:
Try to create your home library, which reflects your culture & lifestyle. So that you will feel comfortable to spend a quality time in your library. Your library bookshelves & furniture style will also reflect your lifestyle. If your home is totally in traditional style according to your culture, same thing will reflect in your home library design.
Materials used in design of library bookshelves should not invite dampness, because it will affect the books & get damaged by moisture or may invite termites. Therefore choose the materials that have the sufficient resistance to moisture & fire.
12. Termite Treatment
Books need all time protection from termite. Do carry-out the pest control or anti termite regularly. Avoid using cheap quality plywood/wood. Use best quality waterproof ply. Also avoid using library bookshelves along external walls to the extent possible as it may invite damp from the possible leakage. Make all walls waterproof!
Assure your library bookshelves are secured. Since your shelves will hold a lot of weight, ensure that it is hung with the proper anchors & supports into stud or well mounted with wall. If you are not sure to determine the load for your shelves, hire a professional carpenter to assist hanging or placing your shelves.
Courtesy - Pixabay
14. Manage Your Library:
Arrange your bookshelves properly if you have lots of books, & keep maintaining it. So that you can find your book quickly & easily. For example, arrange your books by author or by the subject category. So, if you know the author you will quickly find it from the shelves. It would not be a difficult task for real book lover!
15. Importance of Books in Life:
It is because of the great impact that the books can have on shaping one’s life the Prime Minister of India Hon’ble Narendra Modi during his tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat celebrated and ran a campaign cum movement called READ GUJARAT ( VANCHE GUJARAT ) wherein he motivated people to read more & more & also appealed people at large & all architects for designing Home Library while constructing new house like Mahatma Gandhi who while leaving South Africa for India disposed everything but his library of books & brought to India, Narendra Modi also took only books with him while moving to Delhi from Gandhinagar.