Bookworms may have seen the recent TikTok trend of people showing off their home libraries. People have turned their spare rooms, their attics, even their garages into a library all for themselves.
Everyone’s version of a perfect home library will look different, but we all have one thing in common… we all want one!
If you’re a big reader or simply liked Beauty and the Beast an unreasonable amount as a kid, a home library is kind of the dream. But how can you make one yourself, and what little details should you keep your eye out for? Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks collated for you here.
Choose the right room
If you’ve got a spare room, great! Some people have used standard rooms and transformed them into libraries with great success. Others have used odd-shaped rooms that haven’t been used due to their weird shape. These kinds of malformed rooms work amazingly as libraries, with all their corners and secret sections. Finding interesting rooms is an excellent way to make your library feel like something out of a book.
Those who may be buying a house and considering setting up a home library, think about the shape of the room you want your library to be. Round, like a planetarium? Square, like a traditional library? Or funny-shaped, like something out of a fantasy novel?
For the rest of us without spare rooms, this task is a bit trickier. You have two options: either make space to give yourself an extra room or use part of a room. Depending on the size of your house or flat, you may have a room that you use for one role that could be moved into another position. Do you have a kitchen separate from a dining room? Why not try to move a table into the kitchen, then use the dining room as a library?
This, of course, isn’t really an option for most people. Therefore, the second option is probably the best one to go with. With this plan, you don’t quite get an entire library, as the room has to operate with other functions. But, there are a few tips and tricks to make your corner of the room library feel like the real deal.
Once you’ve got your room (or section of a room), the first thing you’re going to need is the perfect shelving. Whether you want to go for wall-to-wall shelving or something simpler like rustic floating shelves will depend on a few factors. Ask yourself: how many books do I have? How many books do I plan to have? How much space do I have? Do I want a full look or a minimalist look?
Once you’ve decided on your shelves’ style, you need to work out what color you want. On TikTok, the preference is black shelves. Black shelves give a darker feel to your library. If you’re a big fan of the dark academia trend, black shelves are the one for you. However, for those looking for a lighter look, white shelves might be nicer. Maybe for fans of Jane Austen and the cottagecore aesthetic. Pair white shelves with some plants, and you could be in The Secret Garden.
Or maybe you want to be really unique and pick an unorthodox color. No one is stopping you from having pink shelves or green shelves. It might be harder to source, but you can always buy white shelves and paint them to your perfect color. It’s your library, after all.
Think about how to arrange your books
This is the big question for those who have dreamed of a home library. How should you arrange your books? By author, A-Z? By title, A-Z? By color? By genre? By the Dewey decimal system?
The likelihood is, you already know how you want to arrange your books. But for those on the fence, here are a few things to think about.
If you order by author name or title, A-Z, it’ll be much easier to find your books. Do you feel like reading one book in particular? Well, easy peasy, here it is. Depending on whether you are more likely to remember an author’s name or a title, you might want to pick either one.
You may think it’s easier to remember a title, and so order by title A-Z. However, it can be nice to keep all works by an author in one place. This way, once you’ve finished one book by that author, you can move onto the next one if you like their style. Also, if you order by author name A-Z, you can keep series’ together.
However, for those who are more focused on aesthetics, sorting by color is how to do it. It leaves a strong impression and just looks gorgeous. How you sort your colors is up to you, but rainbow bookshelves are stunning!
A library is a fun place to store your books, but it should also be a great place to read. To spend hours and hours reading in your home library, you’re going to need somewhere comfortable to sit.
Think about how you like to read: do you read sitting down? Or lying down? Do you want to recline or keep an upright posture? Do you put your feet up on your chair, or do you like to walk around as you read, just like Belle?
Once you’ve got a sense of what you’d like out of your seating, you can go about looking for the perfect vessel. An old armchair can make you feel like you’re in an old-timey castle, where a long sofa will let you stretch out (and maybe host friends for reading parties!).
Think again about the aesthetics of your library. If you’ve got light shelves, you might want light furniture to match, whereas a gothic dark chair will fit your dark shelves.
You may be going for the ‘books everywhere’ kind of look, but there’s always space for a bit of extra decoration. Especially in the beginning, you’ll want to make sure there’s space to fill with new books over the years. Because of this, in the beginning, you’ll have a bit of blank space. No one likes empty space – let’s fill it with some kind of decoration!
Decoration will come down to your own personal taste and the aesthetic you’re going for with your library, but here are a few ideas to get you started.
If you’re investing in a home library, it’s likely you like books a lot. You might want to put up some trinkets and references to your favorite books, like a cover poster or funko pops of your favorite characters.
Alternatively, you might want to liven up your library with some plants. The sheer amount of books and the potential for dark shelving can lead to a dark, dank look for a library. By putting a few plants about the place, it can feel more alive.
Maybe go for a vintage look. If you go around some old second-hand shops, you will definitely find some unique pieces, like a reading lamp or a cozy rug.
Make your home library your own
Let’s be honest: you’ll probably spend an excessive amount of time in your home library. This is why it’s so crucial that you make it feel like you. Make it somewhere you want to spend all your time, and it will be worth all the money and time you spend on it.