Home library interior

The great German writer Hermann Hesse, the owner of a huge unique library, believed that books should not only be read, but also acquired, since “the possession of books (and not just reading them) brings its own very special joys”.

In pre-revolutionary Russia, it was considered a necessity to have your own library. Its size and the presence of book rarities in it were determined by the financial and social status of the owner. But even in the houses of poor commoners, students from the provinces, and later in the houses of the merchants, several shelves with books were always present.

Book markets, “collapse”, as Gilyarovsky described them, second-hand bookstores and bookstores attracted connoisseurs from various social strata: rich collectors and poor students. Reading, empathizing, reflecting, discussing and arguing about what was read was an urgent need and a characteristic feature of the life of Russian society. And the wealth of the spirit was respected much more than financial solvency..

In those days, the library in the house was a place of solitude and calm reflection. If the owner of the house was in the library, they tried not to disturb him over trifles. There were also important conversations that required confidentiality and seriousness, especially with regard to family members, since the head of the family, as a rule, had an office for these purposes. How many important and fateful decisions were made in the library, how many secrets were entrusted and confessions heard in it!

Social storms swept away the home library as a relic of the bourgeois way of life. Public libraries, of course, have lost the charm, comfort and personality that were inherent in their home relatives..

But even during the time of everyday closeness and disorder, books continued to be bought and stored at home, using any niches, piers and even part of the walls under the ceiling in the corridor for this. Whatnots, bookshelves, shelves and bookcases, if they fit in the cramped spaces of small apartments, were kind of mini-libraries at home.

Our life has changed, it became possible again to allow ourselves to have a home library as a separate room and even create a kind of interior for it. After all, the image of the library conveys the individuality of the owner more than even the most private rooms (bedrooms, dressing rooms). Other areas of the house talk about the social and financial status, habits and tastes of the owner of the apartment, and the library will say a lot about the attitude, way of thinking, erudition and subtlety of his soul.

Libraries have been revived, but they have acquired new qualities. This could not but happen in the age of technological progress – the book ceased to be the only source of information. Many documents that were previously available in print can now be transferred to the screen. Libraries are turning into “media libraries” in which information is stored in various media: audiovisual media are now not a tangible competition, but rather an addition to books in the complex culture of our time. This makes the library akin to an office, a video room and a playing room (if there is a billiards or chess table).

This is where a special view of the organization of space in the library originates, destroying the traditional row of “curved walls”. Zoning of space has become an urgent need in the library. And the allocation of a computer area, as a separate work plane, is possible with the help of end-to-end shelving or sliding partitions. Here it is necessary to carefully consider the optimal lighting, since the work that is intense for the eyes requires a certain light: it should be directed (at the screen and keyboard), non-glare, not give glare on the screen, and not tire the eyes. In addition to directional local lighting in the computer part of the library, it is necessary to use general diffused light to reduce contrast, for example, ceiling spotlights.

Also a very important place in the library building is a comfortable reading area. Here are sofas, armchairs, low tables or, conversely, large desks. The choice of furniture depends on the tastes of the owner and the style in the interior. For furnishings in a classic style, furniture should be made of solid noble wood, sofas are upholstered in soft leather, which is very consistent with the bindings of old books, maintaining the style and preserving historical traditions. The parquet floor is covered with carpets made of natural materials, in the walls there are paintings, sculptures, and bas-reliefs. Cabinets are usually glazed, but options for solid open shelving covering the walls are also possible.

Modern library furniture differs from traditional furniture primarily in color. The color of natural wood was replaced in 1970 by the introduction of colored book shelves. This risky move by a French furniture company caused a negative reaction from experts. Nevertheless, colored furniture stuck, as it organically blended into the multi-colored palette of interiors of the seventies. And since then, the color of bookcases and shelves has played an independent decorative role in the interior of the library. Look very stylish, for example, black shelving combined with white walls, white sculpture and spotlights. Multi-colored book covers play the role of soft color accents here, otherwise the interior would be too graphic.

And the dark green color of the shelves in combination with dark natural wood furniture, a light ceiling and a light carpet on a mosaic parquet give the library interior both modernity and nobility..

The arrangement of books, the choice between a glazed bookcase or an open rack, the arrangement of the table, the selection of a carpet, the inclusion of low seating and ladders in the setting suitable for easy reading, the arrangement of general and local light – all this creates a “living” space for a book, because books, as well as their owners should be comfortable and cozy in this room.

A modern home library is a kind of bibliodom, the design of which should organically link the book with other means of communication, and provide the owner with a comfortable place for rest and work.

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