This image of French philosopher Jacques Derrida's study reminded me how much I love the look of a lived-in library. To me, books are more than just accessories. They're part of a home's character, and they reflect — more than any other objects — an owner's unique personality.
My own "library" (fourth image above) is a built-in unit housed along one wall of my home's front room. Because it's the first thing you see when you enter the home, I try to keep it tidy, but I never want it to look unused (to wit, the piles of dog-eared magazines and hand-written notes decorated with coffee rings). It's heavy on classics with a good dose of cultural criticism and reference books. Naturalist guides are nearby for identifying critters passing through on their way to greener pastures.
The built-ins were designed around an existing window to maximize light and take advantage of the garden view. All the inner workings of my small business are stored in the cabinets below, including a printer on a slide-out tray. The small work area has a fold-down keyboard tray and space to store my laptop. Scattered among the books are personal mementos — random objects collected on walks with my son, photos form my travels, and hand-held puzzles to entertain me during those frequent bouts of writer's block. Aside from a few vignettes, it's fairly disorganized. But I like stumbling upon a forgotten flea market find or rediscovering a long-lost favorite.
What unexpected treasures could be found your library?
Images: 1. & 2. Andrew Bush, 3. Block Magazine, 4. Ronee Saroff