The basic requirement for setting up a library at home is a book case, generally available in wood or glass and the maintenance varies in each case.

Do you get peeved when friends fail to return your favourite title on time? Does it bother you to see the pages of your books dog-eared? If the answers to both those questions are yes, then chances are that you are a serious book-lover. And only a book-lover would know that even a sentence skipped because of a blot on the page can change the whole story.

Taking care of books can be a challenge especially if you have a large collection. Even though there are a substantial number of people who have taken to e-books, loyalists still prefer paperbacks for various reasons. Some say they love the smell of books, others say just sitting in a comfortable place and holding a book makes them feel like they’re actually learning something.

Setting up a separate library at home can seem like an arduous task in the beginning. In order to do that, the basic requirement that needs to be taken care of is shelves or bookcases. These are generally available in three materials, wood, glass and fabric and the maintenance varies in each case.

Glass is of course, the easiest to take care of. Glass shelves can just be mopped with wet paper or cloth. In the case of fabric, there are several varieties available. The best is anti-termite fabric that keeps termites at bay. In fact, while the library is getting fabricated, an anti-pest treatment can be carried out then itself. Wooden shelves, on the other hand, require regular dusting and occasional polishing. Jude Francis, an interior designer at Design Rose in West Marredpally says, “The most important challenge is to keep termites at bay. The presence of termites also varies from place to place. While in coastal areas termites are vicious, a milder variety is found within the city”. He also emphasises the importance of air-conditioning. “Air- conditioning is one of the easiest albeit expensive ways to keep books dust-free,” he says. Books that are particularly thick or are old and worn out can be preserved best by binding or laminating them, he adds.

Lights

It goes without saying that a library at home should have good illumination. Here too, one can experiment with lights on the false ceiling or individual lighting on the table. A well-lit room with an ergonomically safe chair does not only encourage a person to read but is also a great way to unwind.

If you have a favourite reading spot, such as by the window, you can position your chair or sofa there. If you spend long hours in your library, investing in a couch would be a good idea.