Everyone wants to be a librarian

Despite the widely acknowledged e-book takeover of the book business, apparently there is a bibliophile phenomenon sweeping the country: private libraries. It’s the latest trend in housing and, for a mere $3k-100K, you too can show off your own professionally-designed, literary digs. Check out the Wall Street Journal’s report on the home library craze.

Custom binding for Hemingway's complete works

Now, for probably the first and last time in my life I can boast of the cool kid’s claim to having done something first. I’ve always collected books and creating my own little library has been on my bucket list since I was nineteen – oh yes, before a bucket list was even called a bucket list. (Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead, anyone?) My grandmother was an avid reader and I remember walking through a creaky hallway in her farmhouse that was filled with bookshelves and running my fingers along the spines, feeling like I was surrounded by knowledge. Knowledge smelled a little old and musty, but it was tactile; it had a presence that no e-reader can duplicate. I’ve wanted my own library ever since. Of course mine is not stylish. It doesn’t have custom-bound books or a fireplace. It’s a showpiece of nothing but my eclectic, sometimes commercial, and completely random taste in literature. I have the complete works of no one and a lot of my books have things tucked inside–a picture, a letter from a lost friend, a grocery list from 1998. That’s why I love paper books, why I can never make myself stop buying them completely. I’ll be holed up in my little library long after this trend has gone and come and gone again. And the only visitor I really care to have there is maybe a granddaughter someday, running her fingers along the spines.