There was a time, a few year back in around 2010 when e-book sales soared and my old friend the paper back began fearing his imminent demise.  I saw the impact on my client’s design choices opting for fewer bookcases, proclaiming they simply won’t need a proper library in a few years.  I chose to quietly push down the panic that crept in telling myself the trend would equalize and find level as they always do when the dust settles.  

As the studies began rolling out we discovered that comprehension was lower in the e-book format noting that we tend to speed-read the digital copy, causing our eyes to dart around the page. Not to mention the distractions by message pings and addition of animated graphics.  All this adds up to a less satisfying read and good news for paper backs as the sales began to make a comeback.

I’m still going to choose my Kindle as a carry-on over lugging 6 hard covered books on holiday, but my bedside will always house a collection of mid-read paper and pulp good old-fashioned books.

Whether you fancy the more traditional approach with a dedicated home library or just need an innovating way to carve a few square feet for your old friends, here are 3 ways I’ve brought the love of books back into my client’s homes.

1. Traditional Library
There is little more quintessential library than a rich dark room, walls lined with wood shelves, chocked full in organized chaos.  As our lifestyles evolve and old formalities like separate living and family rooms become less of a need, many clients now opt to create a sort of double duty library sitting room.  
Consider wrapping the bookcase up and over a sofa maximizing storage and creating instant cozy.  Leave sections more open for display of your prized titles, or a shelf set up with an informal bar for an evening dram with your read by the fire.
Opt for a palette with more traditional hues like navy, deep greens and rich dark leathers for an instant traditional infusion.

2.  Integrated Contemporary
With open concept plans becoming more and more commonplace, we need to find ways of incorporating all of our previously dedicated rooms together with a semblance of integration.  Opt for one focal point like a fireplace, enhanced by working double duty display and book storage around it.  To keep the space more airy run the visually weighty books low along a bench which allows more negative space at eye level with a combination of books and display of collectables.  

3.  Teeny Tiny Footprint
Affordability, ease in maintenance and the bonus of shared amenities are all massively appealing reasons to live small.  This sort of forced trend has been met with the need for solutions to allow our lives to fit without compromise.  I encourage clients to bring along their big ideas so we can find tiny solutions that keep their individuality well fed.  Approach small spaces like a city planner looks at urban real estate.  Build up!  Opt for narrow shelves that run floor to ceiling, or my favorite the invisible book tower that allows the books themselves to take center stage.

All photos are of my design projects captured by the talented http://www.stephanibuchmanphotography.com/

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