You don’t have to be an avid reader to accumulate books, it seems to be a natural progression which starts either in the form of gifts or books you’ve picked up along the way that have caught your eye which may still be on the pending list of having actually been read. Before you know it, however unintentional your collection, you have become the curator of a pile of books which may look better assigned to a dedicated space rather than cluttering up your floor area in unsightly piles!
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WHERE TO START?
Once you’ve decided to start a home library take a look at your available space and areas of recess that would easily accommodate shelving without compromising on your valuable floor area. This could be alcoves either side of the chimney breast or an underused space beneath your stairs. Keep in mind that your shelving doesn’t have to be symmetrical as books come in all shapes and sizes so mix it up to create larger and smaller gaps between shelves, it will also look more visually interesting.
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Depending on the size of your collection and the potential weight of the books involved you may need to install a supportive brace underneath each shelf to avoid any buckling or possible breakage. These are most effective at the central point of your shelving and can be painted to merge in with your background wall colour so that they won’t look unsightly but still be effective.
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You have to have a certain amount of discipline to arrange your library alphabetically and in terms of category, so that you have groupings of fiction and non-fiction books placed together to reflect their genre and area of interest. If an organisational approach isn’t really your thing, then plan your library in terms of aesthetics and arrange your book collection either by height, colour coding or a combination of both!
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Chart your life with books from your childhood through to current day in chronological order, it will be interesting to look back and see how your taste and interests have evolved over the course of your lifetime. It will also be a sentimental reminder of times gone by, good and bad and will evoke memories associated with each edition.
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If planning a wall to floor library system then you need to be mindful of where you place your collection. Books that you find you reach for more often such as reference books, cookery books and your favourite novels should be positioned accordingly so that when you need them you don’t have to mount a climbing expedition in an effort to reach them!
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