What makes a satisfying home library? Books, obviously, but one must have the right KIND of books. And even then, a huge library built of mere paperbacks is an unsatisfactory thing. One needs an agreeable ratio of hardbacks, first editions, limited print runs, and signed copies to make the paperbacks palatable.
Sprinkling in interesting artifacts can also enhance a book collection, giving it that neo-museum vibe. With this in mind, take a gander at Jay Walker's library. As an insanely wealthy Internet entrepreneur (he founded websites like Priceline.com) Walker could afford to have his library built to exacting specifications. For example, if you look above, you can see that his library has an original Sputnik 1 satellite hanging from the rafters. Nice.
Steven Levy got to write up Walker's library for Wired, (lucky rotter!), and his tour covers all three levels and 3,600 feet of Walker's jewel-embossed books, historical tomes, and first editions from the first printing presses. La biblioteca has more esoteric ephemera too, like a “framed napkin from 1943 on which Franklin D. Roosevelt outlined his plan to win World War II.”
I'd happily settle just for this reading alcove. Toward the window, that’s not a book, it’s a sculpture. Foreground: Andrea Cellarius's hand-painted celestial atlas (1660). If that's too old school for you, check out the technology corner.
One Laptop per Child XO (far left)
RadioShack TRS-80 Model 100
1911 typewriting machine and 1909 Kent radio (back)
Nazi-era Enigma code machine (contraption in center)
Johannes Trithemius' 1518 Polygraphiae (left of it)
Apple II motherboard (right)
Edison kinetoscope next to 1890 Edison phonograph (w/ wax cylinders)
IBM processor, circa 1960 (tube technology!)
If there is an unbecoming slobbering subtext to this blog entry, my apologies. I suppose I should be content with my own books, slightly rare and otherwise. After all, my guess is that just as I don't own any Andrea Cellarius, neither does Jay Walker have some of the titles in MY collection.