How to Live With Books.

Living With Books: 118 Designs for Homes and Offices (Reif, 1973)

Styles may change, but the appeal of a display of bound, printed books is timeless.

The author’s treatment of the subject is topical, with chapters entitled “Around the House,” “Decorative Solutions,” “Libraries and Dens,” “Books at Work,” “Books, Hi-Fi and Art,” and “Furniture and Wall Systems.” Schematic drawings of some of the bookshelf designs are included, enabling the handyman reader (or the reader’s handyman) to construct them.

I picked up this paperback coffee table book at a college library purge sale back in the early ’90s, and despite its photography being entirely in black-and-white, have enjoyed perusing it ever since.

Living with Books (Dupuich & Beaufre, 2010)

Fast forward about 40 years, and you get the same title, different authors, and a slight variation on the theme.

This book (original title Bibliothèques, translated into English) uses a sort of biographical approach, with chapters named “Collectors,” Interior Designers,” “Designers,” “Writers,” “Fashion Designers,” “Journalists,” “Artists,” and “Grand Houses.” Unfortunately, no instructional drawings are included.

This full-color coffee table book is about twice as thick as the other one, and it features front and back flaps (that fancy, new-fangled kind of paperback cover which doesn’t serve its book-marking purpose too well, but I suppose the publishers thought they had to add something different, to make the book stand out).

The Bookworm, 1850, by Carl Spitzweg

If you fear that your bibliophilia is becoming bibliomania, the illustrations in these two volumes should put your mind at ease. Just choose to build one or more of the innovative storage concepts you see, and tame your book collection by integrating it as fully into your home, as it is a part of your heart.

1 Comment

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One response to “How to Live With Books.

  1. My greatest dream is to have room dedicted to every book I liked and read! ( Unfortunately it will take a village!)

    Liked by 1 person

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