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 his new book, The Private Library, 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.
The Private Library: A History of the Architecture and Furnishing of the Domestic Bookroom, New Castle: Oak Knoll, 2020 (in press).
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 history of its architecture and furnishing extends back almost to the beginning of history and forward toward a future that is in equal parts amazing and alarming.
In this book, the Rev. 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.