A cup of coffee and the smell of fresh books is one of the best duos a keen reader could ask for. Many people love reading but are unable to make some time for it or they are not able to organize a particular corner for their habit of reading. However, starting your library is easier than you think. With minimal effort and resources, one can develop a library with an ample amount of books.
How to Start Your Own Library
Choose a Space at Your Home
The foremost step is to evaluate if you have a certain space for making your library or not. If you have a very large family at your home, it might be difficult to have a whole library set up because of space congestion. However, with some optimization and rearrangement of furniture and other things at your home, you can easily make some room for a library.
How much space do you need? On a very minimum level, we would say 5 feet by 7 feet of space would be required. Since there are going to be chairs, tables, shelves, lighting arrangement, and some room for movement, this much space is required. Some people are able to make a small library in a space as small as a storeroom.
Bookworms tend to not care much about the furniture as much as they do for the books they want to read. Therefore, minimalist furniture is going to be suitable for your library. However, make sure that it is comfortable for you and there aren’t any issues in sitting for a prolonged time. In case someone faces a problem of back pain, they need to have a softer seat or chair with foam attached to it to avoid any kind of back pain.
Normally, a simple cushioned chair with a round table would be enough. When buying the chair, consider sitting in different postures. Also, buy the one which has armrests to avoid any discomfort. The round tables should be sufficient to contain 3 books, a glass of water, a mobile phone, and some other items.
If you are a fan of bean bags, you can use them for reading. Find out more about the best ones here – The Best Bean Bags for Reading Time.
The shelf needs to be directly joined with the wall. Besides this shelf, you should be setting up your table and chair so you can easily access the mini-library whenever you want to. Shelves are of multiple types. Some have glass cabins while others are open. Some shelves are not too high while others could be reaching close to the ceiling. Make sure you buy a shelf that will not be discomforting when accessing books.
For example, someone with back pain should not get a shelf that starts from the bottom because bending down will increase back pain. They should instead get a tall shelf. On the lower part, other items can be kept. People who don’t have back pain can get a shelf with a lower height.
It is also important that you consider the shelf type. There are different types of adjustable shelves as well which are helpful in bringing any changes to some extent. The adjustable shelf will accommodate short paperbacks as well as table books without wasting any space. If you are not able to find a suitable shelf, you can get one custom-made from the nearby carpenter. The wooden shelves are the ideal ones because they last for a long.
Found the space and bought the furniture? The next most important step is to set up appropriate lighting in the area. Some people prefer simple white lights while others prefer orange lights. Reading is something that you can do once you are fully in the mood and lighting is an important factor to help you maintain concentration and stay focused.
Also, make sure that the lighting you are going to set up is directly on the reading angle. Either set up your furniture in a way that it is in direct angle with the light or set up lighting in accordance with how you have arranged your furniture. We recommend having light directly on top of where you have to sit and read.
You are almost ready for the home library! All that is left is to fill up the shelf with suitable books that are of your interest. We recommend having different sections on your shelves with diversified subjects and not just a particular one. This is important for two reasons. Firstly, you will explore something different other than your primary field of interest. For example, a person interested in history could read about the books on the economy.
The second reason is that you might invite some guests or people to your library. Not everyone might have the same reading taste that you have. Some people will be more interested in other subjects. Therefore, have different books rather than identical ones.
There are some other things too which should be considered when making your library. If you have a certain budget, try hanging posters of different quotes on the walls. These quotes could be from your favorite books or by any other inspiration of yours. This would add more value and grace to your library giving it a better appeal.
In addition to that, we also recommend having the floor managed. A carpeted floor would be very useful especially if you don’t like to stick to one place while reading. Sit anywhere on the carpet. Some of these don’t get dirty at all which means that they can be easily maintained as well. Keep some sticky notes, stationery items, notebooks, empty pages, and even a whiteboard if you have some space. This will assist you in noting down any important thing.
Try convincing your family to come and read in the library. Learn more about how to make it a family activity – Can You Make Reading a Family Activity?
How to Maintain your Home Library?
Maintaining the library is a continuous task and you have to repeat it every few weeks so that your library stays in perfect condition. Clean up of the library includes cleaning the floors, furniture, and even the books. Regularly clean the floor so that it stays shiny. Carpeted floors can be vacuumed easily.
Clean the furniture with a damp cloth and use a furniture cleaner if some kinds of stains won’t just let go easily. You need to make sure that the furniture looks graceful throughout so that any guests that visit your library are surprised to see such an ideal setup.
Next comes the important aspect of cleaning up your books. There are two ways to do that. Firstly, whenever you read a particular book, clean it afterward and in this way, you won’t have a lot of dirty books piled up to be cleaned. In contrast, we can also have the books cleaned periodically. Make one day per month on which you will clean the books. On this day, you can clean the furniture and re-evaluate the condition of the library if you want. Make any minor changes if you wish so.
Renew the Books
Maintaining your home library also requires having new books from time to time. Once you have finished reading the previous books, you can buy the new books. Books of your interest can be easily delivered to your doorstep by Amazon.com. In light of social distancing measures, it is always advised to use Amazon.com for such deliveries.
Renewing your books will add more to your knowledge and will keep your library alive. By reading old books and not changing them, there will come a time when you get bored and not as much interested in visiting your library.
If you live in an area where there is diverse weather, you might need to have the library adjusted according to the weather. Perhaps, have a sofa and a blanket set up in your library during the winter months so you can get cozy and have a comfortable reading experience. Get yourself a coffee machine and keep it there in winters.
As for summers, we recommend having a pedestal fan with you if the ceiling fan is not sufficient. Keep a mini-fridge with you and in case you don’t have it, always bring the coldest water bottle with you when coming to the library. This way, the water will stay cold even after hours. If there are any windows in this room, you can keep them open for suitable ventilation.
Starting your own library may seem like a difficult task but it’s not. We have summarized all the different things you need to have in order to start your library but what’s more important is managing it in the right manner. If you don’t manage it, all the effort that you put in the start will go in-vain. Therefore, set up a library today, fill it with books, decorate the room, and use appropriate furniture and lighting to engage in the best reading experience from the comfort of your home.