The Cover is Not the Book | 5 Homes with Handsome Libraries

Nothing quite matches the experience of relaxing with a good book. From formal and wood-clad to modern and creatively illuminated, these five libraries are distinctive places to display and enjoy a collection of favored tomes.

Vintage Hollywood Glamour

Los Angeles, California | Jacqueline TagerSotheby’s International Realty – Los Feliz Brokerage

Recalling a manor in the English countryside, this handsome four-bedroom Tudor-style residence dates to the days of Hollywood’s golden era and captures its glamorous style. The living room doubles as a library with its striking illuminated bookshelves custom-designed by the renowned Project Room design studio. Beyond are an owner’s sanctuary, a formal dining room, a cook’s kitchen, and a den with French doors leading to the inviting pool, spa, and emerald lawn. The versatile guesthouse serves as an office and screening room.


Beverly Hills, California | Justin MandileSotheby’s International Realty – Beverly Hills Brokerage

Generous in charm and space, this classical Beverly Hills estate boasts majestic architecture and details throughout. Highlights include three bedroom suites, formal living and dining rooms, a well-appointed kitchen and breakfast room, and a family room opening through French doors open to the lush backyard, an enticing pool and spa, and a trellised outdoor dining area. The family room is overlooked by a delightful library loft a full wall of built-in bookshelves. The property also features a 1920s brick “guard house.”

Normandy on the Lake

Houston, Texas | Patti Prasher, Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty 

On the banks of Alkire Lake, this six-bedroom residence designed by Houston architect Robert Dame is replete with Old World finery. Beyond timeless turrets and a classic mansard roofline are rooms filled with carefully selected and crafted details, including arched doors and windows, distinctive ceiling and wall treatments, and rich millwork. Among the exceptional spaces are an acoustically tuned “opera room,” a wine cellar, a covered patio with a stone fireplace, and a two-story circular study with an upper-level library boasting mahogany shelves.

Timeless Park Avenue Treasure

New York, New York | Serena BoardmanSotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage

Nearly every room of this elegant five-bedroom Park Avenue home in a desirable prewar cooperative enjoys an open view of the city. Thoughtful and versatile, the floor plan was designed to make entertaining and day-to-day living effortless, with adjoining formal living and dining spaces and a sleek, spacious kitchen. Behind double wood doors off the entry gallery—and adjacent to the sophisticated living room—the library features warm wood paneling, comfortable carpeting, and generous built-in bookshelves.

Monterra Manor

Monterey, California | Jeannie FrommSotheby’s International Realty – Carmel Rancho Brokerage

Dramatic architectural details distinguish this magnificent four-bedroom home, sited on 2.32 acres in Monterey. The well-designed floor plan features living and entertaining spaces on the main level: a living room with interior balconies, a formal dining room, a kitchen with butler’s and walk-in pantries, a wine cellar, and a sunlit breakfast room. The library boasts bookshelves accented by striking gothic arches that are mirrored in the room’s leaded-glass windows. On the second level, two guest suites are joined by a spacious game and media room.

Whether it’s something with a library or something with a resort-like spa, browse luxury homes for sale and rent around the world by amenity on

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