A Better Bookshelf
We can think of few things more relaxing than those all-too-rare moments spent curled up with a great read or a beautiful book. To that end—in the interest of a full bookshelf upgrade—we asked childhood friend and Juniper Books founder, Thatcher Wine, for a few tips on putting together a beautiful home library.
Thatcher Wine, Juniper Books
Thatcher’s custom-wrapped books just might be one of our favorite things ever. (They also make an incredible gift.) Whether it’s a set of cookbooks, a series of childhood favorites, or great tomes about a city or theme (see our goop collab, which revolves around London and New York), he can turn a basic spine into a piece of bookshelf art.
What books make particularly great gifts?
I’m a sucker for really big books! One of my all time favorite books is the Leonardo da Vinci book by Frank Zöllner—it’s 20″ x 13″ and weighs almost 20 pounds. I also love the Ultimate Collection, which includes The Impossible Collection of Jewelry and The Impossible Collection of Fashion—these are similarly sized at 20″ x 16″.
The new book, Andy Warhol: The Complete Commissioned Magazine Work, is quite eye opening, as it focuses on his magazine work which fewer people are familiar with. I think it would make a great gift book for anyone interested in modern art.
If you can’t tell, I’m also a big fan of books that match. A few examples are: Taschen’s Portrait of a City series (Berlin, London, New York, Los Angeles, and New York), Taschen’s Living In series (Greece, Mexico, Provence, Tuscany, China, Japan, Morocco, and Bali), Assouline’s In the Spirit Of
series (Capri, Miami Beach, Aspen, Hamptons, Cannes, St. Tropez, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Venice, Palm Beach, Harlem, and Seville), and Assouline’s Light Of series (London, Paris, New York, Istanbul, Venice, Tokyo, and Jerusalem).
What are your tips for organizing a bookshelf?
I think about a lot of different factors—size, color, subject, shelf. For a family room, I create easy-to-browse areas for kids and guests. These are generally on lower shelves, so they’re within reach.
When you get related books together—fashion, jewelry, art or architecture—you can determine how much space is needed and how the books should be organized, whether vertically, in horizontal stacks, or a combination of both. I also try to achieve a visual pattern, alternating between pushing books against the right or left side of the shelf. And then I mix in objects in different patterns.
I find that this gives the shelf some sense of movement and makes the books more inviting to the eye so you are encouraged to follow various lines and discover new books. It’s not about having it all be so “perfect” that no one wants to disturb them—it’s about the right balance of making them look like they belong, but also that they should be read and enjoyed.
What kinds of books do you recommend for kids and how do you get them excited to read?
I’m a huge believer in the classics like Alice in Wonderland and Treasure Island. There are board books such the BabyLit series, which are great ways to introduce infants and toddlers to the classics. Then there are Puffin Classics, which are wonderful for young readers. For older readers, sets of Sherlock Holmes, Jane Austen, and other timeless works are fun to have on the shelves and available in nice uniform editions.
- London Book Set, goop, $650
- London: A Portrait of a City by Reuel Golden
- The Light of London by Jean-Michel Berts
- Living in Style London by Geraldine Apponyi and Monika Apponyi
- Cool Cities London
- Great Houses of London by James Stourton and Fritz von der Schulenburg
- Unseen London by Mark Daly and Peter Dazeley
- David Gentleman’s London
- London Interiors: Bold, Elegant, Refined by Barbara Stoeltie, Rene Stoeltie, and
- New York Book Set, goop, $650
- New York: A Portrait of a City by Reuel Golden
- New York: A Photographer’s City edited by Marla Kennedy, Steve Hamburg, and Helena Fang
- New York in Color by Bob Shamis
- Manhattan Classic: New York’s Finest Prewar Apartments by Geoffrey Lynch
- New York Transformed: The Architecture of Cross & Cross by Peter Pennoyer, Anne Walker, and Robert A. M. Stern
- Central Park NYC: An Architectural View by Bernd H. Dams and Andrew Zega
- New New York by Jake Rajs
- New York at Night by Jason Hawkes and Christopher Gray