The old, wood-paneled library is getting an upgrade, and we’re not talking about digitization. (We love the iPad, but we’re not using it to decorate our living-room walls.) Boulder-based Juniper Books rethinks the bookshelf by creating custom-made collections. To wit: The company recently created a travel library for a client’s yacht, in which the re-covered spines of eight books about the Caribbean were pushed together to form a design.

The company’s owner, Thatcher Wine, started out as a rare book collector and set his sights on libraries in 2005 after he built a 4,000-book customized library for a family friend and projects began pouring in. Wine employs two workers to assist him but handles most of the hands-on work himself, taking four to six weeks to complete a project. His work costs anywhere from $80 to a hefty $750 per foot, depending on the project. But Wine sees himself as selling art—not just books. “No one questions why you want to buy a piece of art,” says Wine. “Books are small, affordable, and modular. They symbolize knowledge, exploration, and tell people something about who you are.”

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