Curling up with an absorbing story is as crucial to your well being as leafy greens or sunshine. And it's especially restorative if you have a corner dedicated to the printed word, with all the comforts—say, a cool linen-covered chaise lounge; plump, embroidered pillows; a cashmere throw; a good lamp as well as lots of natural light. Of course, you want well-stocked shelves within reach. Don't be surprised if you catch yourself napping between chapters.
Art books are thrillers of a kind—but their drop-dead dust jackets and brilliant insides often remain unlooked-at after the first brief infatuation. Don't treat these weighty tomes as if they were museum pieces; leave them open on a coffee table, and turn to a new page each day for a changing display. A lusciously textured rug and raw silk cushions allow you and your guests to browse while lounging comfortably on the floor.
You might sometimes want a light read, but you never want a flimsy bookend. Substance is the whole point. A wooden slab made from a recycled railroad tie, a steel and wood construct adorned with glass, and burnished metal blocks, do a handsome job of propping up your library. Don't be too conventional about where your books live. Any surface—desk, refrigerator top, windowsill—will work. For instant art lean a volume with a stunning cover against the wall.
Next: How to downsize and organize your collection of books