Unusual Home Libraries

These are home libraries that make use of unexpected materials, shapes locations. They are often clever and ingenious ways to store books (although not always). Some of them are not ideal for the books and often these new ways of storing books are simply inefficient.


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"A wall stacked with books." Aggh! I definitely would not recommend this method of storing books. My chest hurts imagining the stress placed on the boards and spines of the poor books in this photo – which I sincerely hope was quickly taken to allow the display to be dismantled immediately following.



This very yellow seating area contains a bookcase in an unusual triangle shape. Triangles, although strong in construction, are not generally used for storing books because of the limited height towards the edges of the shelves. Note the slanted books at each side – this is not good for long-term storage of books, because the boards can become cocked and the books will permanently lean to one side. This could be solved by putting shorter books near the sides and using bookends or other decorative objects to hold books upright. Visually interesting, but not ideal.



These book shelves are cubical in shape like so many other modern libraries featured in the photos on this site, however, they have been turned 45 degrees on the diagonal. They are innovative in design and do not seem like they would cause any injury to books, but I do not believe that they are a very efficient use of the wall space. Anyone with a large book collection would probably not be best served by this design.



This cubical book chair is fascinating to behold, and is not a bad idea in theory. However, it would only hold a small number of books, and the books below the seat cushion in front would be vulnerable to injury, particularly if they were larger than the spaces allotted. Also, I cannot help but imagine the painstaking effort needed to dust every angular nook and cranny of this black-painted object.



This novelty bookcase in the shape of a pink cow is actually quite clever. It is quite an appealing work of art in itself, but I worry that putting books in it might obscure the lovely proportions and curves of the creature. And how much weight could those shelves bear, anyway? But I do like this one.



This "book igloo" has a cushioned space inside for reading or daydreaming. The reader is literally enveloped by her books.



These "book stairs" are another unusual way of storing books. I suppose it might suffice for small paperbacks to be stored this way, but I can't help but wonder if the books ever get kicked by hurried climbers. And how can the books stay clean, when the dust off our boots is deposited directly on the surfaces upon which they are stored?


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These wood floating shelves can hold quite a few books and are designed to stay recessed above the large plate glass windows, protecting them from direct light. The inventive-looking ladder aids in reaching them. Unconventional, but perhaps practical if living in a glass house.



This is quite a large library, on two levels, but is unusual in that the lower level has placed the open-back book shelves against floor-to-ceiling plate glass windows that let in views of the garden and much natural light. The light is likely to be a problem, as books suffer from exposure to direct sunlight. It is possible that the windows have been treated to block out UV rays and heat, which would be an improvement, but this room still makes me uneasy, despite its beauty.



This library wall contains four distinct shapes of shelves: the relatively normal (other than the ghostly pretend books holding up the shelves) rectangular floating shelves on the right, the small cubical shelves in the middle, the bizarre curvilinear shelves on the left and the trapezoidal shelves across the top.


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