Library look, revised


The LA Times Takes A Look at "libraries." In a city derided for its cerebral shortcomings, the home library -- once merely a quaint signature of old money -- is asserting itself as a showcase for personal taste, designers say. Los Angeles houses may balloon with gadget-laden spa baths, elaborate outdoor kitchens and high-tech media lounges, but it's the humble bookcase-lined reading room that's becoming a symbol of respite and refinement.
"It is such a cliché," says Sara Nelson, editor in chief of the trade magazine Publishers Weekly. "When I see homes with leather-bound volumes of the complete works of Shakespeare or Thackeray, I assume those books have never been read."

Writer, historian and antique book dealer Victoria Dailey recalls the time a decorator came into the bookstore she once owned and announced, "I want the look of books."

"It was so insulting to the books," Dailey says. "Just to pretend you have books is offensive."