March 2011 | Jonathan Shipley

What's the Next Chapter for Bookshelves?

That's the question recently posed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

From the piece...

The library/sunroom in Jim Noble's 19th-century Minneapolis house is all about the books. Leather-bound volumes, many of them antiques that have been in his family for generations, fill floor-to-ceiling shelves that line an entire wall. "It's nice to have books around. They add so much ambience," said Noble, a principal with Noble Interior Design. "I hope we never live to see the day that books are eliminated from the home."

Michael Jones also loves books. But his loft condo in Minneapolis doesn't have space for a traditional library. He still buys books but downloads a lot of his lighter reading material on his Kindle. Recently he added a custom built-in bookshelf to his living room -- mainly to display his art collection. "I was running out of wall space," he said.

The two homes illustrate the role books have traditionally played in the American home -- and the role they may play in the future, as e-readers continue to revolutionize our relationship with the printed word.