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Books have always been luxury items. Despite every gigabyte of modern technology, there is just something about the weight of a book and the sound of pages flipping. Sales of physical books have been fueled by the recent self-publishing phenomena. With so many home libraries, connoisseurs of culture understand that books not only have worlds upon worlds inside them, they also deserve a world of their own. Discover must-haves for your in-home library to make your shelf-life sing. Want to check homes that have stunning libraries for bookworms and so much more? Start your journey by visiting the Distinctive Collection by Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate.

One absolute library essential is bookshelves. The can be made of wood, metal or really anything you can imagine as long as it is sturdy.  They can go horizontal or vertical– anything goes! Many bibliophiles seek out tradition and use the floor to ceiling shelved design that is a hallmark of Oxford’s prized library. There is another way to house books that is a modernized take on the classic. Turn your book collection on its ear with beautiful shelves built on a diagonal. By turning your book collection in a new direction, you introduce a bold geometric pattern that foregoes the need to include wall art and makes your shrine to the written word into the focal point of interest. If your layout does not permit you to build across, go vertical and build skywards. Custom touches can include velvet lining or intricately carved details. Whether stretching across new literary horizons or reaching toward the heavens, link the color of the rest of the room to the color of the shelves.

Illuminating a library is tricky, especially if your collection has rare books that require special housing. Those delicate pages and spines must avoid direct sunlight and unstable temperatures.  Natural light through windows or skylights should be filtered with drapes or blinds to avoid bleaching your precious collection. Explore other options such as recessed lighting, which allows you to take advantage of any space in the ceiling and walls for a glow rather than a spotlight. Lamps placed throughout your library ensure that each reader will receive ample lighting to avoid straining their eyes. Get creative and install chandeliers or wall sconces for a dramatic look. Set the right mood for reading with downlights atop bookshelves, or highlight your collection with track lighting or in-shelf puck lights. For a truly optimal mood enhancer, include a fireplace that will not only light your library but provide heat as well.

To let your books really shine, make your floors stand out. Hardwood flooring is ideal for this space. It allows for a streamlined look and classic style. Any type of wood from maple to oak will add a touch of rustic glamour. Brick floors may be too cold, but possible with the right rugs. Wall-to-wall carpet may reduce noise, but style should be a top consideration, especially when enticing non-book lovers to visit your sanctuary. Sometimes the best way to bring out what you have on your walls is through what you put on the floor. Rugs are a great way to add interest to your book haven. Black and white rugs can fit with any color palette. Neutral rugs can accentuate the colors lining the bookshelves.  Consider having color in the mix to brighten the space or to match with a dominant color showcased on your shelves.

The pieces you use in your library will determine its feeling and style. With bookshelves, lighting and flooring taken into consideration, seating and tables must be arranged. The type of seating you use will largely be determined by how long you plan on actually reading in your library. If it is more of a showpiece or an entertaining space for shorter periods of time, opt for style over comfort. You can use accent chairs or ones that will be noted for their design rather than comfort. If planning on spending extended periods of time in your library, select sofas and lounges that prioritize relaxation. After all, a library can be of any design you choose, but it should also be as functional as possible. Weigh in on adding tables or desks for studying. A coffee table allows for certain books to receive extra special attention.

May every book be your favorite and may you have everything you have ever wanted in a library.