A good friend Ewa Sherman showed me a library ladder on Twitter (knowing how partial I am to such distractions) and that inspired me to find some of the most congenial library ladders of all time. From the classical to the more modern…
A pleasant little viewing platform at the top, from Bran Appetit.
Painted ceilings and chandeliers match so well with these bookshelves, don’t they? From Betterslidingladders.com
A public rather than a private library, so not sure how health and safety feel about that ladder? From wayfaringviews.com
A more modern and realistic take on the library ladder from Andrew Nebett Designs.
In contemporary UK, Neville Johnson seems to have the monopoly on bespoke fitted bookshelves and wardrobes.
I don’t have favourites, but if I did, this might be it. A whole top floor room dedicated to bookshelves, reading and ladders. More books needed, of course. From Weheartit.com
Or everything I am not, in other words! But then, how can you compete with some much-loved bookshelves?
Monochrome beauty by Visual Vamp on Tumblr.
Clever partition to allow for a reading and study space – and more shelves, not just on the walls. From Casa Paolo.
Ah, if only we had a loft or attic as spacious as this, right? From metalbuildinghomes.com
A Scandinavian living room, I’m sure – note the lack of curtains, the cosy fireplace, the minimalist furniture and the parquet flooring. From Fashiion-gone-rouge.
But if you prefer more classical alternatives, this seems like a good place to start, from ebookfriendly.com
The Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar – what a woman – a composer, collector and operating a highly respected cultural salon.
But if it’s a modest little paradise, you seek, then this one from The Grey Home should do the trick.
At some point I need to have a big clear out of books, clothes and knick-knacks, but for the time being, let me still dream of endless shelf space! Some of the home libraries below have lots of room to play with, but others are very clever at making the best use of quite narrow spaces.
American painter Winslow Homer seems to have been quite keen on books too, and clever at using this corridor for bookshelves. From TheMaineMag.com
A more spacious corridor than any of us might possess, but still a delightful way to decorate, from zillow.com
If you have a whole outhouse or barn at your disposal to turn into a library, you can even create a book club and workdesk area. From Business Insider.
The classic French chateau look, from photonshouse.com
The English dandy look, complete with record player and chess set, from Awoum.com
Clever or excessive use of lighting in this double-decker library/living room? From Pinterest.
A more discreet use of lighting, from PhantomLighting.com
We can never get enough of the great bookish indoors, can we? Here are some reading nooks where I could spend the entire month of December, with or without any Christmas decorations.
Large windows: yay or nay? Let the light in for winter months, but might feel rather chilly if not triple glazed. This room also has space to invite your book club members over for a chat, from Moon to Moon.
Are there paintings on the ceiling there for readers to rest their eyes? I love the green shimmer throughout this library, clearly a very Zen space. From Danielle Trussoni.
That New York loft feel, could do with some more shelves though. From The Spaces.
Designed for a couple from Montreal who wanted to be able to work and read in the same space, from Studio MMA.
Who doesn’t love a porthole type window, especially if it’s surrounded by bookshelves and positioned strategically next to a comfy chair? From The Nordroom.
We can’t all have vast amounts of space, so this is a particularly ingenious solution under the eaves in a flat in France. From FJA Architecture.
And there are more realistic solutions, withing our budgets, such as this reading nook featured by Jessica Paster.
For those who dare to dream big, or else convert their entire house into a home library (I mean: I would, as long as I had a bathroom and a kitchen and a bed somewhere as well). These all look rather comfortable, I’m sure you’ll agree. One thing, however, makes me sad. Many of these are from very expensive properties in the US and I cannot help wondering if many of these vast libraries are just for show, rather than that the owners truly read and treasure all of their books.
My kind of NYC penthouse, from NYCurbed.com
This one might look like a shop, but is apparently an apartment you can rent out from hotpads.com
Plenty of room for more books on these shelves from Florida, from Architectural Design.
This Ellison Bay mansion was apparently the most expensive house in Wisconsin, from JS Online.
If you don’t have a mansion, how about converting your nearest barn? This one looks cosy, from nextluxury.com
I have no idea who Emma Burns is, but this is apparently her barn, which she has converted into a library with a guest bed on the mezzanine floor. I want to be her friend! From GlowDesignLibrary.
If you have a large garden, then this slightly luxurious version of a garden shed might work for you, from DesignMilk.com
Thanks to my endless displays of home libraries in the Friday Fun series, one might suppose you have an impeccable home office/ study/ library by now. Ah, but do you have a hidden door? Next to a library ladder, it must be the single most coveted thing for a library addict. Here are some suggestions for when you next feel like a minor home improvement is required… Or when you want to hide and scare someone for Halloween!
A sliding door to the attic (where possibly there are even more books!) from FamilyHandyman.com
I think this one must be in a stately home, but I have no other source for it other than Flickr.
Perfectly hidden, in classic design, from bookthrillist.com
The French version of this allows for some busts of your heroes, in ADMagazine.fr
For the serious collector, this climate-controlled library in a house designed by the great Oscar Niemeyer, from Architectural Digest.
This one is not very hidden, not even a door really, but I could imagine feeling quite apart from the hustle and bustle of the living room in that little library corner. From Content in a Cottage.
I can downsize quite easily if I live all by myself – but I will need a special room just for my books, somewhere to read, write, and just admire all the imacculately arranged shelves. The ideal would be the Whatley family’s specially-commissioned library in Texas (first picture below), but some of the others might also do…
Isn’t this just the best? A dream! From Texas Monthly.
Not quite as many bookshelves, but not bad, with comfortable chairs and sofas for group reading. From doornob.com
If the above are too bright, here is a quieter, less glarey place, from 1stDibs.com
Another darker, cosier room, halfway between a boudoir and a library, from House Beautiful.
Love the way these bookshelves make use of everysingle bit of wallspace (the back wall is missing a few more shelves, though). From DecoratedLife.com
Less glamorous, but perhaps more achievable, this reading nook in a house available for rent on AirBnB.