- New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2021.
- 7 x 10 inches
- cloth with dust jacket
- xii, 540 pages
- ISBN: 9781584563884
Price: $85.00 other currencies
Order Nr. 134228
"...hefty, fully illustrated, and beautifully designed volume..."
-Rebecca Rego Barry, Fine Books & Collection, Summer 2021
"The nuts and bolts of private libraries through the centuries is a worthwhile line of cultural inquiry, one that is plumbed thoroughly-and with a flair for context and narrative-by Reid Byers in this lively overview. Layout, design and accouterments of "domestic bookrooms," as he calls them, are just one component of his engaging examination, making for an excellent addition to the genre. Highly recommended."
-Nicholas A. Basbanes, NEH Public Scholar and author of A Gentle Madness
"A fascinating as well as extremely useful and well-documented study of the history of library design and architecture in all its aspects. Byers places the private library in relation to the individuals and everyday life, as well as the institutional libraries of each age. To my knowledge, this is a unique reference book, dealing with the architecture and layout of the private library from earliest times to the present day. I believe it must become a companion to all book and library historians, as well as scholars of humanistic disciplines overall. "
-Konstantinos Sp. Staikos, architect and author of The History of the Library in Western Civilization
The Private Library is the domestic bookroom: that quiet, book-wrapt space that guarantees its owner that there is at least one place in the world where it is possible to be happy. The story of its architecture extends back almost to the beginning of history and forward toward a future that is in equal parts amazing and alarming.
In this book, Mr. Byers examines with a sardonic eye the historical influences that have shaped the architecture of the private library, and the furnishings, amenities, and delightful anachronisms that make the mortal room into what Borges so famously called Paradise.
Reid Byers is a longtime celebrant of the private library. He has been a Presbyterian minister, a C language programmer, and a Master IT Architect with IBM. The writing of this book, a procès de longue durée, has itself extended through part of the history it describes and has been equally divided between Princeton, New Jersey, and the Blue Mountains of Maine.