How To Build The Perfect Home Library With A Relaxing Twist

Even with the increased popularity of e-books, the home library remains an essential element in decorating for passionate readers, but also for people that are just looking to create a relaxing and educational room in their house.

A house without a library lacks personality, it is like a room without windows, or as Marcus Cicero used to say, like a body without a soul.

On top of that, a house filled with books everywhere in piles, even if it looks unique, it is not the best example of a functional home. It is easy to find a compromise, by creating a home library that reflects your personality, and it offers relaxation at the same time.


Where to put the home library

You will probably have a complete room to use it as a library, but even if you don’t, it will probably occupy a large part of your living room. If you are looking for multiple usages for your chair, you can buy a massage chair for health to use both for your home library and for watching TV.

It also depends on how many books you have. If you are the type of person that buys more books than one can read in a lifetime, you will probably need a tall room and many shelves. However, vertical home libraries are a lot more stylish these days. It is a major change compared with the trends some years ago, recommending short but wide libraries that could take up an entire wall.

If you are buying a tall library, you can also think of a tall ladder. This way, you can arrange the books you already read on certain superior shelves, to keep the ones you want to read handy on the inferior ones.

Besides this, the library place in your house also needs a small cupboard, where you can keep your glasses, book signs and every little accessory you need for a perfect reading experience.

The key part of your reading space will be the armchair, for two main reasons: first, it will be in the center of the area, being seen as an important part of the layout, and it must also be comfortable for the long hours in which you submerse in the world of your favorite book characters.

If you are thinking about creating such a space for your parents and you know they like to fall asleep while reading, you can think about buying them a massage chair for health. However, be aware that actual reading might be affected by the comfort given by these modern devices.

If you are looking to give a twist to your home library and make it unique, choose a smart lighting system besides your massager for health. Good lighting is needed not only for reading, but also for highlighting the personality of your little piece of heaven.

Add some organic elements on the shelves such as small flower pots, pine cones and other decorations. Another useful trick is to use special supports for collections of your favorite authors, or for books that you want to highlight in the setup.…

Build Your Family Library on the Cheap

Have you always dreamed of having shelves and shelves of books? The theory is great, but when you consider the cost of buying so many books, you might decide that it just isn’t worth it and stick to a library card instead. However, it really doesn’t have to be that expensive to build your own home library! Here are a few tips to help you get your collection underway on a budget.


The first thing to do is to set aside a small amount of money each month specifically earmarked for books. This could be just the change you end up with at the end of each day, deposited into a “book jar” or you might budget a certain amount, $5-50 each month. The amount you can afford is really determined by your personal finances, but it doesn’t have to be a lot. Now, with your money, it’s time to start shopping for books!

Check out the used book stores in your area. At one time, it was possible to buy used books from these dusty shops for just pennies, but with the cost of living and the rent going up, you are lucky to find used books for $5 in most cases. But don’t worry, used bookstores often have a sale rack or a bin where they toss books that have just been hanging around too long or that are damaged. Take the time to look through these bins. Most of the books will be drivel, but you will occasionally find a gold nugget that is well worth the fifty cents being asked!

Garage sales are another good source of used books, often in excellent condition. Since books rarely sell, it is likely that you will be able to buy them at a nice, low price. If the owner seems reluctant to give a good price, ask if you can come back or call after the sale is over and buy any remaining books for a discount. Rather than pack up the leftover books, most garage sale owners will say yes. You might also get a discount if you offer to take the entire lot, instead of picking through them.

Another often overlooked source of used books is your local library. Ask when they have their sales. Libraries usually get rid of older or damaged books once or twice a year. These books will be stamped with “DISCARD” and may have the book cover marked or cut up, but they are also dirt cheap and you can find some very good books this way.

Regular thrift shops usually have a book section as well. Since these shops will often be earning off their clothing or other goods, the books will be very low priced, often just ten or twenty cents each. Many of the books will be out of date, but for novels and the like, it really doesn’t matter and you can build your library for just a few dollars.

Yet another place to get used books for cheap is the school. Schools regularly discard their old library books and sell off their out-of-date texts. This can mean big savings for you. The readers are full of illustrated stories for children and come in every grade level. They are often sold for a dollar or two, so you can pick up what basically amounts to an entire book full of stories for next to nothing!

As you can see, there’s no need to spend the big bucks on getting books for your family library. Used books are just as good as brand new ones and just a fraction of the price! So take advantage of the used book sales today and start building a library!…

The Library as a Job Search Resource

The economy has ruined a lot of household budgets. Consumers are cutting expenses any way they can including the cancellation of cable TV, the internet and their phone lines. They cuts are being made out of necessity. Sometimes it becomes a choice between their luxuries or having food on the table. Unfortunately if you are searching for a job you can be at a disadvantage if you don’t have internet. One of the places that people are looking into are the local libraries. They have a wealth of information and computers that will allow you to complete a job search. Some even have computer programs that allow you to complete a resume from scratch. Libraries are seeing a surge in their traffic because of the economy.

Librarians can also provide assistance in a number of other ways. They can guide you to certain books and resources about interviewing, how to dress for an interview, career advice and government test taking. They have an extensive knowledge about all of the things you will need to make your job search much more effective. Using a library computer can help you search for jobs, find information on interview questions, as well as questions to ask during an interview. Whatever you are looking for in terms of your job search the library is probably going to be able to assist you. If you can’t find what you are looking for a librarian will be more than happy to assist you.

Some companies and organizations will only allow you to apply for a job online so it becomes a necessity to have internet access.

For those not computer savvy you may be able to enroll in a computer class at the library that teaches you the basics.

If you decide to go to a library you may want to have your agenda all mapped out. When you come in completely prepared you can tell a librarian exactly what you want to accomplish and they will be able to assist you and steer you to the resources that will allow you to have the most success. This helps you to operate more efficiently and effectively and it helps you cut down on the amount of time you need to spend on your job search.

Never underestimate the value of your library.

You can also check out DVD’s and CD’s for movies and games. Just make sure you return them within the allotted time so that you are not charged fee.


DIY Rolling Library Trolley

Reading is a way for people, including children to escape into an imaginary world. A world they can become intertwined with. Pages and pages of books fill the lifes of those who love to enjoy a good book. Bookcases often take up too much space and can become a cluttered mess. These storage spaces for books are often too expensive to purchase.

A rolling library trolley is a simple project. This trolley allows books to be portable to any location. This trolley also allows clean up to be quick and easy. A project like this has the following materials, wheels, wooden crate and imagination. It doesn’t get any easier than that. The assembly of the rolling library trolley is very simple.

The first step is to purchase a wooden crate. These are available at any local hardware or craft stores. The price of the crate will depend on the place it is purchased. The price will also be determined by the size of the actual crate. It is best to find wooden crates that have handles on it. This allows the trolley to be carried when and if needed.

Personalization is the key to this project. This allows the creativity to sparkle and to come alive. The name of the child can be stenciled on the sides of the crate. This lets everyone know it belongs to someone. Paint is the easiest way to add personalization to any craft project. If a name or phrase is stenciled onto the rolling trolley, the background color should be different. This will help the name or phrase to stand out.

Wheels give the library trolley the mobility it needs to be transported from room to room. These can be purchased at any hardware store. They usually come with screws to attach them to bottom of the trolley. The wheels allow it to be pushed through room to room with little or no ease.

This rolling library trolley is a perfect project for children to participate in. It allows them to build something with their very owns as well as design something they can call their own. With this finished project, it helps children to stay neat and tidy with their books. It teaches them to clean up and stay organized.…

Use the Library to Promote Your Business

A great way to build your business is through community outreach. Your local library can be a wonderful place to reach out and meet new potential customers. Here are a few ideas to get you started.


If your business is family-oriented or of any interest to children consider visiting the children’s department for story-time. You can read a children’s book that relates to your occupation, talk about your job, even perform a short demonstration. Kids love to hear about jobs in the real world and learn new things. And of course, all kids come with a parent. Show them that you are family-friendly while introducing them to your product or service.

Ask the librarian if you could donate books, videos or dvds that relate to your business. Furthermore, ask if they would consider placing a book plate inside the item that mentions your business, ie “donated by Shelly’s Dance Studio”. If you take some time to think about what books and movies your customers would be interested in, this can be a great way to get your name in front of them.

Often times libraries will have glass display cases in the lobby. Find out if there is any way you could create or sponsor a collection. Even if you don’t personally own a collection, you may be able to borrow or rent from a friend, using your business as the sponsor.

Giving a free lecture, demonstration or class through the library is an easy way to reach customers but will involve a little more planning on your part. The best part about the free class is the advertising that the library can provide on your behalf. Often times they have newsletters, websites, or regular listings in local newspapers. Even if a customer doesn’t sign up for the free class, they will have read your name.

If you’re looking for a unique way to get your printed name in front of potential customers, consider printing up some bookmarks. Talk to the librarian and find out what their policy is first, before you have the bookmarks printed. You could put together a suggested ready list that relates to your business, or simply encourage reading. Either way, having a basketful of bookmarks at the counter is a way you can get your name out.

And finally, most libraries are always looking for help with fundraising. Talk to the librarian and find out if there is a service you could offer with the funds going directly to the library. You won’t make any money off your service, but you’ll be helping to support the library and improving your image in the community. If you are a product-oriented business, ask if the library would be interested in raffling off one of your products as a fundraiser, or if you could donate items to an auction or tag sale.…

Best Books for a Children’s Home Library

Seth Mullen advocates home libraries to give children a jumpstart in reading in his article Home Libraries Give Children a Headstart. Some parents may wonder at this advice, given the availability of public libraries. Others may agree in principle but feel that a home library is an expense that fits in the luxury column of their budget. The good news is that an excellent children’s library does not have to be large or contain new books. Just make sure the books it does contain are carefully chosen.

What do you need to consider when starting a children’s home library?

  1. All books are not equal. Obtain books whose words are rhythmic and draw kids into their sounds.
  2. Obtain classic stories in their original editions, or in editions created by known authors and illustrators. Avoid poorly written post-movie editions written as add-on sales tools.
  3. Choose varied genres so the child will get a rounded education while reading. Include some easy biographies, some science and nature books, some poetry, some stories.
  4. Avoid TV show spin-offs with the possible exception of PBS show spin-offs. Most of these books are sales tools, not children’s literature. The writing quality is seriously deficient.
  5. While hardcover books feel nice, they cost a fortune compared to paperbacks. You can create a much less expensive library with paperbacks. Thrift stores are a fantastic source for paperbacks in like-new condition if you are disciplined enough to sort through the many to find a few and to say no to books in good condition that don’t fit your buying criteria. Another relatively inexpensive source of books is Scholastic paperbacks, offered through schools. Check to see if Scholastic has a local distribution outlet near you; those outlets have occasional sales with exceptionally low prices.
  6. Avoid the temptation to stock your child’s library with every book with a glitzy cover or shaped like a truck that draws her or his attention when you’re browsing in stores. Quality literature should be your goal. Let them borrow the show books from the public library.
  7. Pay attention to the artwork. High quality artwork helps draw children into the story.
  8. Make sure your children’s library contains a book of easy home science experiments that use common household items and a cookbook with pictures. Books that foster action are books kids will want to read. Reading them also helps children with sequencing and following through.

By the time your children are established readers, they’ll want to choose their own books. If you’ve gotten them started on quality children’s literature, they’ll have a solid foundation for doing so.

Here’s a list of a few tried and true favorites for pre-readers and beginning readers to consider for your start-up library:

Jamberry by Bruce Degen 
Big Book of Things That Go by DK Publishing 
Ten in the Bed by Penny Dale 
Is Your Mama a Llama? by Stephen Guarino 
Let’s Go Home, Little Bear by Martin Waddell 
Little Bear by Elsa Holmelund Minarik 
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss 
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss 
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss 
Mr. Putter and Tabby Pick the Pears by Cynthia Rylant 
Mr. Putter and Tabby Bake the Cake by Cynthia Rylant 
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin 
Giggle, Giggle, Quack by Doreen Cronin 
Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business by Esphyr Slobodkina 
Rapunzel retold by Paul O. Zelinsky 
Rumpelstiltskin retold by Paul O. Zelinksy 
The Amoeba Hop by Christine Lavin 
Charlie Parker Played Be-Bop by Chris Raschka 
The Jazz Fly by Matthew Gollub 
Strega Nona by Tomie DePaola 
Cookie’s Week by Cindy Ward and Tomie De Paola 
The Tanya Treasury by Patricia Lee Gauch 
Tanya and the Red Shoes by Patricia Lee Gauch 
Dream Snow by Eric Carle 
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle 
The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle 
You Be Good and I’ll Be Night by Eve Merriam 
Blackberry Ink by Eve Merriam 
The Moon was at a Fiesta by Matthew Gollub 
The Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett 
The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza by Philemon Sturges 
Mouse TV by Matt Novak 
Selections from the biography series of David A. Adler 
Selections …

My Family is Going Green- and it Hasn’t Cost a Dime!

I admit it- I resist change. I get set in my patterns of everyday life, and trying new things does not come easy to me. I have been hearing the phrase “going green” now for a few years, but I never really took the time to figure out exactly what this trend was all about, simply because I assumed that it would require me stepping out of my daily routines to do something different.


I happened to be watching a television show that featured Sara Snow, who talked about what going green was all about. She showed a family fun ways that they could help conserve our earth’s resources, and even end up saving a little money as a bonus! Seeing this could not have come at a better time, because our family recently went on a very strict budget, and so the idea of saving a few pennies here and there was rather intriguing. Part of the reason I had resisted going green before was because I was under the assumption that I would be paying out money to buy a lot of “eco-friendly items.” While making some purchases, such as compact fluorescent lights, or energy star appliances, definitely help, we simply don’t have it in the plans at this time. So, it was time to get creative and come up with all the FREE ways our family could take baby steps into going green…..and possibly even save a few pennies in the process! Here are the changes my family has made:

1. Conserve Electricity– ok, this should have been a no-brainer, right? Use less electricity, and of course it will cost less- we thought we already had been practicing this one. Once we started looking into going green, however, we noticed a few other changes we could make here. First, we are very diligent now in turning off lights and appliances when we leave the room. Not only that, but we now unplug all of the appliances that we can when they are not in use after we learned about “phantom draw” on Sara Snow’s blog. We turned down our hot water heater a couple of degrees; it is now just “hot” as opposed to the previous “scalding” level we had been achieving! Lastly, we turned down our thermostat from our normal 70 degrees to about 62 degrees, and we even set it a little lower overnight. Sure, we can’t wear t-shirts in the middle of winter anymore, but the electricity (and even more important- heating oil) that we are conserving are making a noticeable difference in our monthly bills.

2. Eat Wisely– this was probably our easiest change to make, because it was something that we were starting to do before our going green effort. We are trying to eat more organic foods, because it is keeping the pesticides and toxins from poisoning the earth in addition to our bodies. While buying organic foods at the grocery is a little more expensive sometimes, we have hugely offset this by growing our own organic garden in our backyard in the summers! It has been a fun family project, and we actually got so much of a surplus, that we packed our freezer full of veggies that will last us a long time. Growing the garden has also helped us to learn about recycling kitchen waste- we now have started a compost pile that will keep a little extra out of our landfills, and help to feed my growing garden at the same time.As a sidenote to this- we are also trying to buy more food locally, to try and save the cost of gas that it takes to transport food to my local stores. This has been another surprisingly easy change for us, since we live in a rural farming town- we have lots of choices of farmer’s markets that have fresh fruits and vegetables, and even meats and dairy from local farmers. It is a nice feeling to be able to support my local economy, and know exactly where my food is coming from.

3. Don’t use grocery store bags– this was a relatively easy switch too, after our first couple of times out. …