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In this age of the E-reader, is there any point investing in shelves and bookshelves? The question is raised at the beginning of this book and not surprisingly, the author argues in favour of the visual and tactile qualities of having books in a home and how it signifies our desire to give them a permanent place in our lives.

The sub-title of this book is "Elegant Ideas for Storing and Displaying Books" and this is what it delivers. With the chapters focusing on different rooms in the house, it talks about the specific storage and display options that work best in those spaces. For example in living rooms you may choose to group books by colour for a more appealing aesthetic, in dining rooms it's best to match the thickness of bookshelves to the dining table and in bathrooms - which are exposed to humid air - books must be stored behind doors or glass. There are also plenty of ideas for "eccentric" shelving - bookshelves that work almost as a piece of art or a conversation starter. One thing I appreciated is that many unusual shelving units are credited with their manufacturer or designer's name, so that you can track them down for yourself.

The book includes useful tips on caring for and cleaning books, how to store old and valuable books, and different methods of organizing books. It's often amusing: for example the author discusses the dread that most bibliophiles feel when lending books to friends.

There are a few books around that cover similar territory, for example Books Do Furnish a Room and At Home with Books: How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their Libraries, but this is my favorite to date. I also appreciated the fact that the photographs usually allowed me to read the titles of the books in people's collections.

One comment: you may have seen some of the photographs before. I recognised two from Children's Spaces: From Zero to Ten and therefore I assume that others may also have previously featured in other publications.
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on December 6, 2012
There are tons of practical tips in here for stroring books, ideas for a style to fit your style, uber modern, formal, informal, modern, traditional, warehouse lofts, upscale, downplayed, English manor, French country, Italian country, color coordinated, utilitarian, even movable. or easily changed to fit your needs as they change, laid back, simple for the most part all of the ideas are practical for the styles they are meant for. There are suggestions on how to arrange your books so you can find the book you are trying to lay your hands on. Advice on how store and not store books. Some good suggestions for arranging books when you need to able to grab several over and over for research. There is a great section on library ideas for kids rooms. The book is interlaced with memorable sayings about books and reading from famous people and authors, adding to the fun of the great amount of wonderful pictures of libraries in the styles I have described above. There is a good list of resources for purchasing books, suppliers for materials to aid in building your library and list of architects that can aid you in planning your library. If you always have a book in your hand or in your purse this book is just that much better, the book gifts you dozens of different pictures of ways to store your precious treasures and is just a fun book to sit and thumb through, and enjoy.
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on March 11, 2013
This is a picture book plain and simple, although occasionally some trite apercu stands out such as 'An eye-catching jacket helps a book stand out in a crowded marketplace' or 'the great disadvantage of built-in shelving and cabinetry is that you can't take it with you when you move' or even 'using the possession of books as a means to enhance your social status has a long pedigree. In the late 16th seq'. Look in vain for any technical discussion of materials, dimensions, or construction.

A more interesting text and approach, including interviews with the designers or residents of the showcased bookshelved rooms, can be found in 'Living with Books' (Thames and Hudson, 2009).
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on August 23, 2012
I have several books in my library about decorating with books. I enjoyed"Books Make a Home" because the author is a lover of books in addition to being a designer.The text was interesting and informative and the [pictures were beautiful. My own design preference is traditional but I enjoyed all of the styles represented in the book, because of the way the books themselves personalized them. Very well done.
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The best books are those that tell you what you know and then what you should know. This book is packed with great ideas. The pictures are of existing libraries from all walks of life. There is a short description of each picture and in-between is a discussion of the world of books and book lovers. There is a section on the care and feeding of books, another on where the word book came from, and much more interesting book related information.

Even though you are not supposed to lean books I have set of Character Sketches by The Rev. E. Cobham Brewer on a 10 foot high plant ledge that one of the cats tilted them and I left it that way as it looks more like an old ruin. Forgive me I guess I better straighten them up.

The back of the book contains a selected bibliography, Resources and supplies, organizations and literary festivals, and a section of "Whose work has been featured in this book.

At Home with Books: How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their Libraries
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on January 11, 2013
It's a nice book. A lot of full page color photographs, some with just a few books, however (which was kind of funny). Nice paper. The book is broken into chapters...bedroom, living room, hallway, kids rooms, etc. Different home and bookcase styles...something for just about everyone. It was interesting and a bit of information on how to take care of books was included as well.
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on October 17, 2015
Fantastic book with pictures on every page of unique and inventive ways (i.e. 3-D tree on a wall) to display your favorite books from just a few in a child's bedroom to massive libraries in homes. Every corner, hallway, ceiling, and wall of a home is explored to house your treasures. Loved it!
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on August 15, 2014
I suppose if I took the time to browse a hundred or so design blogs featuring books as decor, I could come up with comparable images. But let's be honest here -- if you have so many books you have to figure out a way to design your home around them, then you are not going to be happy with images on a tablet, am I right?

I like this book. I like books. I like looking at how others deal with storing / displaying / shelving their books, and it makes me think that maybe I should read the books instead of just arranging them. Because if they're no good, I could get them out of my house.

This is a good book, not at full price, but at a reduced price (like the price I purchased mine at). It will make you feel good about being a borderline book hoarder even as your family members threaten moving out or even worse, divorce. And you will find new ways to stack your books so that you might use them as tables or as decorating statements on the treads of your staircase. But you won't find any truly practical advice here, just pretty pictures. And sometimes, that's enough.
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This is a gorgeous book that all book lovers will want to get their hands on. With a royal purple ribbon to use as a bookmark, Books Make a Home is divided into chapters showcasing books in every room in the house: as decoration, in kitchens and dining rooms, in bedrooms and bathrooms, in children's rooms, and-- my personal favorites-- on stairs and in corridors, in living rooms, and in libraries and studies. As you can see by my favorites, I'm a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to storing and displaying all my books (although I don't have stairs or even a hallway wide enough in which to put them).

As you can imagine, the photos are glorious and will have readers torn between running to the nearest bookstore or revamping their own libraries, but there is more to this volume than the photos. The text itself is well-written and informative, and a large section in the back lists resources and suppliers that will lead to many an internet search.

Books Make a Home is the perfect book to encourage daydreaming and wish lists, or to motivate bibliophiles to do some reorganization, and it definitely would make a wonderful gift for anyone-- like me-- who's completely under the spell of the printed word.
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on February 11, 2013
I really like the book;the photographs were great. Being a lover of books I found it intriguing especially since I could see what a lot of them read. The author gives you a lot of great ideas on ways to store books and the comments are very interesting. What I would loved to have seen is more pictures of regular folks' libraries or collections. A lot of these pictures is of apartments or homes with about an acre of room. I have to stick them anywhere theres a space and doesn't make the wife mad.
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