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Living With Books

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  365 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Some people never have more than a shelf or two of books. Others are more committed: they hoard books, rearrange them, and seldom get rid of any. Living with Books, aimed at the latter group, addresses the challenges and joys of a home masquerading as a library, from storage to display to the use of books as structural elements and furniture.

Each chapter covers a different

Hardcover, 144 pages
Published May 13th 1999 by Soma Books
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  365 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Patrick Sherriff
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well, books can be stacked on shelves, and here's a coffee table book to explain this highly complex thought. Kills a few minutes in a pleasant enough way, I suppose. My proper review is here: ...more
Two Readers in Love
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bibliophilia, home, owned
Books do furnish a room"... or if left to their own devices, totally take the room over..

Most design books show a few books placed artfully in the corner of a huge display case, mixed in with the tchotchkes. Some even go so far to show a wall of perfectly matched hardbacks, to provide that oh-so-intellectual backdrop to the huge main space. This is all absolutely useless for those of us with a serious book addiction.

This is a design book for real-world bibliophiles. The beautiful photographs ill
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
May 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Of course I'd be drawn by a book about well, books, book shelves, etc. And the pictures for the different bookshelves in different settings was really good. Some make for an interesting project doesn't it? I especially like the bookstore ones. Really good read for any book lover.
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A coffee table book, this nevertheless had quite a few good ideas for my study project. I found an unusual, yet functional, cantilevered bookcase design that will look distinctive with the hardwood floors I'm planning. I just need a carpenter to tell me if it's stable enough to resist earthquakes.
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed Powers' writing style. It suits a book about books. And I thought the photography was great.
Laura Harrison
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Just glorious.
Michael Heath-Caldwell
Sep 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Interesting book on interior design concepts focusing on books and book cases.
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Back cover: "In a true booklover's home, there are no rooms that do not contain books." A book about storing and displaying books.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 I’m torn with how to rate this because, well back in the early 2000s the interiors would have been more appealing. There are SOME classic inspirations, and I would have loved a book with more rooms that never really go out or style (there def were a good amount), but a number of the modern looks for that period do not appeal to me. With that said, a book about books and rooms with books. Decorating with books and the love of books! Yes! I may bump this to four. It’s a fun read but I’m glad I ...more
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a GLORIOUS book! It is filled with large, colorful pages of how books are stored, displayed, stacked up and stashed-all-over-the-place.
Some pages make me laugh. Some pages make me fear earthquakes. But all pages make me smile.
Cabinets, tables, bedrooms, bathrooms, stairways! Hallways! and more!!
There are a few pages about caring for books, and also instructions on how to make simple book storage units.
I would say that this is a beautiful coffee table book, -- but who has room for a coffe
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The photos in this book were lots of fun - it was a bit like a lifestyle magazine with its design ideas and overall commentary but because the book is dated the overposh sparkle found today is absent. These were lived in places that were photographed and you can tell. It was humorous and quirky. I was 75% done with the book before I realized the author was British - then whole back half had lots of regional nuances that stood out a lot.
This contained pictures of how people store their books in their homes, with additional book information interspersed within.

It was full with bright, colorful, photos, but with more of a post-modern slant than I was hoping for. There were no bookcases with the rolling ladders that I dream of one day having in my home.
Apr 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookish
Spotted this on a friend's "to read" list, and just had to check it out myself! Lots of ideas for a house full of books, and the line "In reality, most collections contain books that are old friends but do not need to be visited very often" particularly resonated with the book hoarder in me (although I am getting much better at saying goodbye to books I won't ever read again).
Zamri Misman
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Must read!!!
Nov 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
A little more out of date than Decorating with Books, and the libraries this book displays are not as pretty and more cluttery.
Sep 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Sort of like a print version of Bookshelf Porn.

Mostly either unattainable minimalistic arrangements, or rustic English cottage displays.
Mar 08, 2010 rated it it was ok
Ha ha. I didn't realize it until halfway through this book that I had read it before and thought it was just so-so. An unremarkable book really.
Feb 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Excellent description of ideas, in how to place your book collection at home.
May 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Meh. Very dated, felt like it was written in the '70s even though it was published in 1999.
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. From the presentations of the different personal libraries (including bathroom and kitchen libraries) to the bookstores and collections, this is a very visually appealing book to me.

In addition the text was great. In the back there are plans so you can build different style bookshelves too.
Heydi Smith
Jun 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
Not the book about books I was hoping for. This booked lacked imagination and inspiration. It was boring. I don’t think this book lives up to its name.
May 13, 2019 rated it liked it
A celebration of books and books in the home.
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a fun book to peruse. I skimmed the text and looked at the lovely images. I now want more bookshelves!
Oct 06, 2007 rated it liked it
This was an interesting book to read. I had the same problem with it that I have with books about interior design though, much of it what they were showing seemed at least somewhat impractical for daily life. I do own some books that could be put in an area that's not easily accessible, but it's a relatively small amount. Even if there's a book that I don't think I'll be rereading soon, there's a good chance that a friend will want to borrow it.

I really liked the idea of painting a speaker to l
That rating of three stars is because I'm nice, because there are some nice pictures in the book. This is not really a book about living with books, but about how decorate with books (at times it might just as well have been the book 'Living with boxes') and it's not the same.

And it is quite forgettable. I finished the book last night and I can hardly remember anything that was written in it. Nor, actually, much of the illustrations.
Shonna Froebel
Nov 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This examination of books as decorative elements in homes provides some interesting ideas for book storage. It is divided into different types of room from home offices to bathrooms, and I got some ideas from it. I preferred the quirky to the traditional. It would have been nice to see more addressing small spaces as I have lots of books and a small house.
Will Mego
May 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
This was one of the more boring collections of pictures of bookshelves you'll find. There's another book I also read the same day with the same title which will also be getting a poor review, just for a different reason.

Honestly, if you're looking for ideas for your home, you'd find far more inventive and interesting ideas by visiting an IKEA store. I'm not a huge IKEA fan, either.
Karl Gruenewald
A fascinating book with some worthwhile observations that will appeal to dedicated readers and architecture enthusiasts alike.
Ellie  Dynek
Dec 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Having piles of books scattered all around my room, I now have some cool design ideas in regards to organizing them. Hopefully I can get at least a few of these to work for me.
Apr 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Book porn
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Alan Powers is a teacher, researcher and writer specialising in architecture and design.

Powers trained as an art historian at University of Cambridge, gaining an undergraduate degree and a PhD.

As a writer Powers has been prolific, writing reviews, magazine articles, obituaries of artists and architects as well as books. He has concentrated on 20th century British architecture and architectural con

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