This wide-ranging, comparative, and multidisciplinary collection addresses the significance of books in creating the idea of home. The chapters present cases that reveal the affective and sensory dimensions of books and reading in the practice of everyday life of individuals, in communities, and in society. The complex relationship of books, reading, and home is explored through American and European case studies both in bourgeois and middle-class homes, and in working-class and immigrant families and communities with limited possibilities for reading. The volume combines the conceptions and representations of domesticity, the materiality of reading, and library as a place, drawing on book history and material culture studies as well as anthropology and sociology of the home.

chapter |9 pages


How to read home cultures through books

part I|68 pages


chapter 1|23 pages

Immigrants being at home in libraries

How the immigrants brought their home to the New York Public Library

chapter 3|22 pages

“A parade of home”

Representations of home in Greek American community albums

part II|47 pages


chapter 5|15 pages

Simulating domestic space in 1990s technoculture

Timothy Leary's virtual home library

chapter 6|15 pages

Bookshelves create a cozy atmosphere

Affective and emotional materiality in bookreading practices