We all love books, and to house those books, one usually needs a bookshelf. But what about a bookshelf that is the foundation to a house? In this article, we’ll examine a wholly unique take on home architecture. A home that was designed around a bookshelf is a truly fantastic thing to see. Read on to learn more.

“Behind every writer stands a very large bookshelf.” - Justin Cronin

The Basics

This custom design is perfect for book lovers
Look at all that space for books and literature. Source: Bookstr

Why would someone want an entire fourth of their home to be a single bookshelf? For this small family in Yokohama City, Japan, books are treasured. This family loves books so much that they asked the architects at Shinsuke Fujii to design a custom bookshelf that would be able to safely store a lot of books.

From ancient texts to the invention of the printing press and all the way up to Japanese manga, Japan has a very rich culture in terms of literary works.

To say it another way, it’s very easy for a bookworm to fill their massive shelves in Japan. Here are some cultural examples of what a modern home library might house in that region.

  • The Waiting Years by Fumiko Enchi
  • Japanese Tales From Times Past by Konjaku Monogatarishū
  • The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu
  • Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata
  • Seven Japanese Tales by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki
  • Kokoro by Natsume Soseki
  • Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
  • The Diving Pool by Yoko Ogawa
  • Death in Midsummer and Other Stories by Yukio Mishima
  • Almost Transparent Blue by Ryu Murakami

Earthquake Proof

Feel free to climb around!
The only library you can play on. Source: This is Colossal

Since the family specifically asked for the bookshelf to be earthquake-proof, the architects decided to build a slanted wall. Since earthquakes are a common natural disaster in Japan, the family of the Yokohama City house wanted to make sure their books were safe during one. When an earthquake hits, the books stay on the shelves because of the slanted wall.


The entire bookshelf also serves as a low-impact jungle gym. Residents can actively climb on the home library shelving. This allows the family to stack books up high without a ladder, and without the risk of falling. This is accomplished because the entire wall is pitched forward. No matter what a person’s climbing skill level is, it’s incredibly difficult to fall off the bookshelf. It would be very easy to invest in an “Acrobatics for Dummies” book, and place that on the very highest top shelf in the house.

Strange Angles for a Home

The unique slant makes it really stand out
It's different, but it certainly makes a statement. Source: Bookstr

Because the library is at an angle, the entire home has a very unique shape. This abnormal architecture actually creates a bold statement when compared to surrounding homes. The bookshelf design is especially appealing as a home to literary enthusiasts, and can provide a great deal of ease and comfort to anyone in that particular field.

Would you like a bookshelf that resembles this one? Would something like this satisfy your literary needs at home? Get in touch with a carpentertoday!

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