After reading the title of this post you might be asking yourself, “Get with the times, buddy – I just bought an iPad. Why on earth would I need something as antiquated as a book library in my home?” Well this post will attempt to answer that question for you and give you some reasons why a home book library can be a rewarding design choice.

Leather book library

Home library

1. An expression of one’s personality: This aspect is completely lost with the digitalization of books and music. With the advancements in technology most evident in such devices as the iPod, Kindle and now the iPad, we are losing the ability to learn about a person just by observing a record on their shelf or a novel in a bookcase. It used to be that you could learn an awful lot about a person’s interests just by taking a brief glance at what was sitting on their shelf; this is not the case anymore with e-readers that have reduced books to a collection of 1’s and 0’s.

2. A great way to impress guests: What better to show guests that you’re cultured and intellectual than some strategically placed Marcel Proust or 19th century Russian literature on your shelves? The best part is you don’t actually have to read them. They serve their purpose just sitting their collecting dust while you watch your favorite MTV reality shows.

3. Makes for a good conversation starter: In this case you probably need to have read the books on your shelf or at the very least read the blurb on the back of the dust jacket. A guest might see a book in your library and realize that you both share an intense interest in rare miniature frogs; a new friendship is then instantly formed.

4. When done right, it just looks cool: A shelf full of iPads is totally unnecessary – not to mention an odd design choice. Books, on the other hand, make for endless amount of decorative possibilities. You can outfit your home library in antique or modern leather, color sorted covers, vintage cloth, custom wrapped solids and whatever else looks good covering a book.

Yes, designing a home library can be a daunting task. How do I organize the books – alphabetically, by genre, chronologically, by size or color of book? What type of covers do I use for the books? Do I go with a contemporary or classic look? I suppose the answers to these questions depend much on personal preference, but there are companies whose sole job is helping you answer these types of questions. One such company is Juniper Books and founder Thatcher Wine.

Juniper Books helps owners and designers build custom book collections for home libraries – fully customized based upon interests, design preference and budget. Afraid you don’t quite have the knowledge of a Harvard literature professor? No problem. Thatcher Wine’s knowledge of literature, history and art is broad, and his source for new and antique books is diverse. Not simply just a book worm, he also fully understands the creative and aesthetic possibilities of books. Wine is able to cater the bindings, color and size of the books to your particular design needs. To find out more about Juniper Books’ services visit

Custom book library

Custom book library

Ok. So maybe that’s only four reasons, but “five reasons” makes for a better title. Still, these four reasons should be more than enough to justify the continued existence of home book libraries into the 21st century. Feel free to share your reasons for a home book library in the comments section.