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At Home with Books Paperback – Import, April 30, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: THAMES & HUDSON; New Ed edition (April 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500286116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500286111
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.7 x 11.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,876,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Marcy L. Thompson VINE VOICE on April 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The last time I moved, I had the movers weigh our books. We hadover 5 1/2 tons of books.
When you live with a lot of books,they become, by default, a major theme in your decor. This lovely,wonderful book demonstrates ways to incorporate large quantities of books into your life in a way that is stylish and beautiful, but which also permits access to the book you just have to have in your hands, right this second.
The photographs demonstrate just what it means to be a bibiophile, and they provide inspiration to anyone wondering just how to deal with having too many books.
And in the end, feeling that I own too many books is a result of not having a reasonable way to store them all. This book provides ideas which made it possible for me to change my attitude -- no longer an owner of too many books, I am now a book lover at home with my books.
(Plus, reading this book reminds me that there are other people with large, well-read and well-loved libraries. If you are one of them, you will love this book.) END
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Format: Hardcover
Where do you put hundreds, a thousand, even several thousand books? Here are some examples from book collectors, writers, and even a Rolling Stone.

"At Home with Books" highlights, with photos and text, more than two dozen offices, libraries, and studies in the U.S. and Great Britain, covering every kind of room where you might want to put a book. From large and impressive home libraries, where the books are more on display than they are for reading, to small offices, where ease-of-use is of key importance, to places where most people wouldn't even think of putting a lot of books, such as kitchens and hallways - nearly every kind of place where you might imagine a book is here.

Magnificent, stately rooms are included as well as the cramped quarters of a poet; the most post-modern designs imaginable to the most traditional. One of the more interesting parts in the book is the home library of Keith Richards, the guitarist for The Rolling Stones and, apparently, an inveterate reader. My personal favorite, though, was the author Frances Fitzgerald's library in her Manhattan apartment that she shares with her journalist husband. It was a room I could imagine putting my own books.

"At Home with Books" also includes useful information on how to care for your books, how to plan a layout for that future library you might build someday, and how to light your library. It has sections on bookplates and binding books, a resource directory on rare book dealers and the great libraries of the world. If you have any interest in books and the rooms they are found in, then look no further.
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Format: Hardcover
Because few decorating books address the issues of designing a room for book storage and display, this one immediately appealed to me; perhaps I would get some ideas on how to manage my own collection. I have somewhere around 300 cookbooks, 500 SF/F novels, a few dozen books on writing, at least that many books on woodworking and quilting. All those books have to go SOMEwhere, and the room labeled "family room" on the house floor plan is now what we call the Library. That doesn't count the unpacked boxes of books for which we have no shelves.

However, my expectations were far exceeded.

This book shows a whole bunch of personal (and a few public) libraries, from tight little NYC apartments to huge homes. If you want inspiration on the ways to present your books, and how to intersperse them with other art collections you might own, the book is worth the money right there. And it's certainly great as a coffee-table book for the well-read. But what I didn't expect was how much farther it goes.

At Home With Books is essentially interviews with lots of pictures. Your eye will be drawn to the pictures ("Wow! People with more books than me!" or "This person actually had all his hardcovers bound in _white_ to match the decor?!") but the interviews themselves are often fascinating. You'll read the views of people who run book binderies, who have famous collections, who run a company that makes library ladders.

I got several bits of advice that I can put to use, from how to cull your collection when necessary; one suggestion is to give away the classics in paperback; you can always find another copy of War and Peace at the corner bookshop or in the public library.
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Format: Hardcover
I start feeling a little proud of my own small collection of books sometimes, but when I grow up, I want to be like the people in this book. Booklovers of many stripes, the men and women (as well as an organization or two) profiled here have truly made their books an integral and intimate -- if not overwhelming -- part of their lives.
The mere fact that they've allowed us to look at their homes, and see how they've chosen to arrange and display their books, would be enough to make this a rewarding browse. As my bride pointed out, these homes haven't been prettied up for the camera like the ones in interior design magazines. These are real, working homes, with books, papers, art, people, and dogs (often pugs, I notice) scattered about. From aristocrats like the Duke of Devonshire to academics like Barbara Kirschenblatt-Gimblett and her awe-inspiring 4,500 square foot "endless corridor of books," small-timers like me can both admire and emulate the decisions they've made.
But there's more to this title too. Informative sections on bespoke bookplates, "the art of the bookshelf," lighting and other library furnishings, and a comprehensive resource directory all make this a useful reference as well as an attractive display book.
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