By Elsa Court
As the weather in the northern hemisphere turns cooler and we take to indoor hobbies, many of us seek a space to curl up with a good book. On the parlour floor of this five-bedroom Manhattan townhouse, the library provides a cosy reading space and invites hours spent diving into a great novel. The room includes a fireplace designed by the celebrated architect IM Pei, who lived in the house until his death in 2019. The property is on the market for $8m.
Here, we round up some of the best furnishings to decorate your own space for reading.
Ernest Race Neptune Lounge Chair £7,950
Commissioned in the 1950s to bedeck the cruise liners of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, the Ernest Race Neptune Lounge Chair is a striking piece of mid-century design. This version, stocked by Vinterior, features a brass rod to keep the headrest in place and its resilient webbing straps provide ideal elbow rests for long afternoons spent reading.
The Gio Ponti D.357.1 is based on a 1950s design by Italian architect Gio Ponti. Finished with a part white, part natural elm veneer, its varied compartments can accommodate coffee table tomes and paperbacks, trinkets and objets d’art. Available from Chaplins.
Cashmere throw, from $1,935
Handwoven in Nepal, the four-layer crepe weave cashmere of this throw by Anichini is soft to the touch and will provide warmth on chilly days to readers. The Amdo version, finished with a fringe, is custom made and available in 160 colours.
Pharmacy reading lamp, $1,200
The articulated shade-diffuser of this brass reading lamp, designed by US lighting company Nessen Lighting in the 1980s, can be adjusted to different angles, combining functionality with mid-century style. The vintage piece is being sold by 1stdibs.
Haberdashery rolling ladder, $2,850
Manufactured in the 1930s by the Putnam Rolling Ladder company in New York, this adjustable ladder, available from Yew Tree House Antiques, will meet the archiving needs of well-stocked book collectors. Made of beech and set on wheels, it can be hooked onto specially designed shelving and rolled along past its literary contents.
Property photograph: Christie's International Real Estate