Thatcher Wine and his company Juniper Books have taken libraries to a whole new level. Since 2010, Wine and his company have been constructing a bespoke collection of books that match the décor of the room or create an image on the spine, adding an element of art to the bookshelf. Some examples include a picture of an elephant sprawled across several book spines or a larger multi-shelf collection that creates the American flag.
Thatcher has always had a love of books and began his company in 2001 by simply buying and selling books online. By the end of the decade, it evolved into the company it is today. His personal aesthetic is to bring a little bit of the inside story to the outside appearance (“What would Jane Austen want on her book cover?”). However, he also works on commission where people can request specific designs and themes. “At the Shady Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth, Wine’s library features around 900 books replicating the view out the window” (Wine 2014).
While it may be a herculean task and completely irresponsible fiscally to incorporate this in an entire public library, I can still see this as a possibility for smaller areas of the collection. For example, all of the Hardy Boys books with a picture of Frank and Joe on the spine, or the local history collection that displays a picture of a local landmark. This is also, obviously perfect for a home library, where one might have the spine display the family crest, or a collection of cookbooks with pictures of food and/or utensils on the spine.
As wonderful and creative as these items are, one must also consider the price. A Juniper books library can set you back. Their website has a smaller five book set for $195.00 and also a larger one hundred book collection for $3,995.00. Check out your local library or private collections and see what may work for you.
Wine, Thatcher, interview by Richard Schlesinger. Bespoke libraries, joining book love with interior design (May 18, 2014).