My favorite is Nigella Lawson's. This, friends, is a library:
None of that design-y nonsense about arranging books according to jacket color, or hanging art in front of shelves. It's just books. Lots and lots of books. ...OK, and a record album of The Sound of Music (look in the lower right corner below the flowers). Because Nigella Lawson is awesome.
And as Nigella demonstrates, when you run out of shelf room, that doesn't mean you need to get rid of some of your books (the horror!). Just stack them on the floor, of course.
My second-favorite library from the list is, believe it or not, Keith Richards's library. I dig his blue fainting-couch.
I like the messy jumble. The perfect library ought to be lived-in, full of books you like, whether they're Hunter S. Thompson or Nora Roberts or 200-year-old first-edition classics. The absolute worst is when people buy matching sets of Federal Reporters so it looks like they have lots of hardback books on their shelves. I worked in a law office for two summers. I know what Federal Reporters are, and I guarantee you nobody wants to read them (not even the lawyers) and people aren't fooled.
I had a close acquaintance once who told me she never read books. Never read books. Like...never. She said she didn't really like reading. I nearly fell out of my chair. And - this is going to sound snobby but I can't help it - I knew from that moment we'd probably never be close friends.
I have no idea how to relate to that. Most people like to read something, whether it's trashy romance novels or self-help books or Twilight or...something. Heck, even US Weekly would be better than just not reading.
But the popularity of the Kindles and other e-readers make me hopeful - people still read, just in different formats. Sometimes I wonder if e-readers are going to make home libraries obsolete. I like to think not - that there's room for e-ink and regular ink. E-ink for reading on the go, and regular ink for filling a glorious room with books. Lots and lots of books.