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December 16, 2019updated May 14, 2020

How to Build Your Perfect Home Library

By Samantha Coles

There are certain things that stand the test of time: No matter how far technology advances, libraries still hold a dignified allure, and there’s nothing quite like the satisfying feeling of finishing a great book.

Home libraries are more than just storage spaces; they provide sanctuary, one lined with precious titles that act as a window into our soul and the inner workings of our minds. Books have the power to make us laugh, cry, learn and see the world in a different way. Curating a library is an entirely personal process, as Thatcher Wine of Juniper Books knows.

He tells us, “It requires listening and observing — I ask clients about their favorite authors, books and subjects, and really listen to the answers. But I observe every detail about a client’s home, their hobbies and how they interact with family in order to develop a sense of what should be on their shelves.

Then, I use my expertise and experience handling hundreds of thousands of books — where to buy them, what is in print and what is more scarce. I step back and look at the collection of books I’m building and ask myself if everything belongs; there are constant adjustments to get it just right.”

Knowing where to find the right books comes through experience

You have likely encountered a few of his curated libraries: Four Seasons Residences Austin, Shady Oaks Country Club in Texas and the NoMad Hotel in New York, to name a few. He has also created a number of home projects, including a 600-book library for Gwyneth Paltrow. Interestingly, Wine has created custom book jackets so that the books can match the library’s color scheme (no judging books by their covers here).

Wine tells us about a client who wanted a library of around 1,000 books on a wide variety of subjects, therefore having very different jackets: “We proposed a very bright, color-coded library in our custom jackets for every book.

“The end result was a library of books everyone in the family wants to read in a completely one-of-a-kind presentation on the shelves. When I took a step back to photograph it, the books looked like jelly beans from a distance! It’s a great feeling when the books really feel like they belong.”

Thatcher Wine of Juniper Books has curated libraries all over the world

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