One of the best things about autumn is curling up under a blanket and reading a good book. September is all about celebrating books – last week we had National Read a Book Day which encouraged us to take a break and get reading, while this week we had Roald Dahl Day, remembering the magic that the British author brought and continues to bring to children everywhere.
Not only does reading help us relax, it’s also good for our health! Studies show that it can increase our emotional intelligence as we understand a range of perspectives and motivations. Research also suggests that reading for 30 minutes a week can enhance our health and well-being, but also aid our sleep and reduce feelings of loneliness.
If you’re rediscovering old favourites or delving into a new bestseller, now is the time to sit back, relax, and get lost in a book. Why not start by giving your books the love they deserve, with our top tips for creating a compact home library? Scroll on…
Libraries for small space living
Whether you’re fitting a library under the stairs or in the corner of a room, you don’t need a lot of space. “Home libraries don’t need to be thought of as a luxury or grand, large rooms with lots of wooden shelving and hundreds of books; they can be bespoke and tailored to your book collection and the space available in your home,” says Zara Stacey at Homes and Gardens. “Building a small library at home can be as simple as buying some shelving and placing them in an area that can be viewed and appreciated often.”
We’re talking versatile solutions such as leaning ladder shelves which cleverly make the most of unused corner areas, a shelving unit that can be moved around the home, or a deep picture and hanging rail sufficient enough to hold a few books as well as double up as a coat hook. Think outside the box – and you really don’t need the one-size-fits-all option!
A magical space for reading
If your little one started school this month, chances are they’ll be coming home with their first books to read independently. Treat them to a little reading nook without breaking the bank.
Create a designated area where they can sit with you and enjoy their own little library. Stacking storage cubes, a wall caddy or the Biblo leaning cabinet are some of the brilliant storage options; they’re cost-effective and provide the perfect height for kids to look through their books.
Make it extra special – and fun – for them by adding colourful cushions and throws, or arranging their books into a rainbow design while they explore the joy of reading.
Think about seating
The right seating is key when it comes to your home library – hands down, it needs to be practical and comfortable. Whether you opt for a slim armchair to fit into your nook, or a chaise that you can recline on for a peaceful reading session, think about your space and budget, then go from there.
If you’re really short on space, incorporate your library into something you already own – such as a piece of multipurpose furniture.
For instance, our leaning ladder desk – which comes with ample shelves – can be used in the bedroom to load up your night-time reading and spread out your breakfast in bed. Supplied with non-slip silicone pads, the desk can be leaned against the wall in an instant – and moved elsewhere when you’re in the mood for a change around.
How to declutter and organise your books
Before embarking on your library, take time to sort through your collection and ask yourself why you are keeping each book. Will you read it again? And do you really need it? Once you’ve decided on everything you want to keep, think about how you will organise them – by author, alphabetically, by colour or height.
“If your books are a mixture of ones you have read and ones you haven’t gotten to yet, think about creating a to-be-read shelf. Place them within arm’s reach of your favourite reading spot,” Alison Davidson at Livingetc recommends. “And remember, it’s your library, so you get to make the rules.”
At Futon Company, we love the idea of a home library – and it really doesn’t have to cost a fortune to create or require much space. Give it a go yourself – and don’t forget to check out our website for more space-saving storage ideas. Keep reading!