What Would Your Dream Library Look Like?

windowseatbookshelves043013Remember the scene where the Beast tells Belle to close her eyes, leads her into a dark, dusty room, and then rips open the drapes, revealing the most incredible library any of us have every seen? Books cover the walls from floor to ceiling, or maybe sky, wrapping around columns and behind spiraling staircases. The window seats all have giant plush pillows, and a fire roars in the marble fireplace. Belle has to twirl like Fraulein Maria just to take it all in. Is it possible that this library is the reason Belle agrees to marry the Beast? Sure, eventually he becomes really, really ridiculously good-looking, but forget that—there’s just nothing like the perfect dream library to get a lady going.


Creating a place where you can read, eat, drink, write, and nap in total comfort and safety is not as easy as it sounds. A library must inspire and incubate. It should be an escape for the body and mind. If I could build the perfect library, it would include:

Books: Right? I mean, tell me if you think that’s too tradish, but I feel I’d want, like, a lot of books. Tons of nonfiction and and then a whole section for the classics. Also a section for all of my favorite kids’ books—old favorites whose covers give me a rush of something lost and exciting. A bunch of Bill Peet and maybe some Maniac Magee and BFG.

Window seats: Crucial. Ideally, the library will be on the second floor of my giant house, and when I look up from reading The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, by José Saramago, I’ll feel like I’m in the trees, and the message of the book will really hit home. It’s just better to feel up high when reading, and not grounded. No heavy curtains—I’ll make sure light can always blast in and illuminate the book titles.

Blankets: On everything. So many soft, huge blankets. And rugs on rugs on rugs. No cold feet in my library.

Desk: The kind with little compartments and a leather writing surface and maybe a quill and some ink. This desk will face a window, but also be strategically placed so that I can see the entire room, especially the fireplace and the sheepskin rugs. This placement is crucial; I don’t want anyone to sneak up and murder me while I’m secretly changing my will, leaving everything I own to my “housekeeper.”

What else do I need? A lot of plants, probably—keep that air circulation flowing. And maybe a wine fridge. I’m really excited about this. You guys are free to come and read in silence with me. We’ll have a blast.

What’s your dream library like?

  • http://twitter.com/18StephanieLynn Stephanie Keys

    I would add floor to ceiling bookcases filled with leather-bound classics and journals, accompanied by one of those rolling library ladders.

  • http://twitter.com/Pogue57 Paul Long

    A globe. And maps on the walls.

  • Jennifer McGown

    very comfortable chairs and couches – and great lighting

  • Joe Avery

    Large windows, plants, a hot plate to make tea in NICE cups, over-stuffed wing chairs, floor to ceiling shelves filled with my favorites and those I think might be my favorites, and of course, my dogs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.anne.9655 Elizabeth Anne

    2 stories. Floor to ceiling books with rolling ladders and huge plush reading chairs. And of course, the window seats with tons of pillows.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shayna.katz.12 Shayna Katz

    Like the one in Beauty and the Beast

  • Zepher07

    Really bright with lots of natural light. Definitely needs a window seat/reading nook. Actually the picture above looks cute and comfy.

  • Debra Harrison

    I have a Pinterest Board called Living With Books on which I have posted remarkable libraries from around the world. You may want to take a look. There are some first class libraries and a few more modest ones. I also have boards called Book Collecting and Book Quotes as well as Book and reading art. Stop by. Living with books can be located here: http://pinterest.com/finehomedecor10/living-with-books/

  • Mike

    I’m thinking mixture of cottage and english classic. Corner window seat, floor to ceiling bookcases, Big leather chair and a large oak table in the middle of the room to spread out over. Most likely with so many books the excess would be piled on the table.

  • Alanna

    A tall circular room with a glass dome with iron work or maybe stainglass one and windows in between the floor to dome books selves which are between columns and have it be a nice deep color of wood on the floor or marble with a work/writing desk facing the room with the windows behind it and doorway and have some sofas and neat coffee tables in the center with rungs under them and wonderful looking lamps for night reading and have some old fashion lamps near the shelves for night time!!!

  • Kath K

    I would like books on 3 walls, that I would first fill with Fern Michaels books. On the 4th wall I would have a glass door that leads out to a big yard, on nice days go out and read, plus on the same wall I would love a window seat, on rainy days you can sit there.

  • Guest

    I would love floor to ceiling bookshelves all around the room, except for where the windows let the light in. Of course, being only 5′ tall, I would need a library ladder to get to the top shelves. I would have an over-sized, stuffed, comfy chair to sit back and read in. I would have a nice, bright lamp over the chair and a small table with a drawer, next to the chair to hold my reading glasses, book marks, note books, etc. Aww… heaven.

  • sammie warwick

    I would love floor to ceiling bookshelves, filled with books of all kind, all around the room, except for where the windows let the light in. Of course, being only 5′ tall, I would need a library ladder to get to the top shelves. I would have an over-sized, stuffed, comfy chair to sit back and read in. I would have a nice, bright lamp over the chair and a small table with a drawer, next to the chair to hold my reading glasses, book marks, note books, etc. Aww… heaven.