Shelf Life

Thatcher Wine’s incredible book smarts.

Juniper Books Custom Book Jackets

Thatcher Wine started selling rare books “as a hobby” in 2001 but soon found himself curating a 4,000-book library for a family friend’s new home. “I started to wonder if there were more people out there with the same challenge—too many bookshelves and not enough books,” says Wine who is the founder of Juniper Books. Slowly but surely, Wine gained a loyal clientele and began designing libraries and book installations across the country, including one for the NoMad Hotel in Manhattan, a pop-up shop for Macy’s, a room at the 2012 Academy Awards, and the minimalist lobby of the Lorien Hotel in Virginia. He now also does customized books for those who like to say, organize them by color. “I had been providing books wrapped in different jackets for years—however they were always solid colors without any printing on them,” Wine says. “I wanted to come up with a similar offering of colors for private homes.” Among Juniper’s ready-made offerings are classic literary collections, redesigned in an array of colors, categorized groups (like love poems, art books, cook books, and more), and, mirroring the other, more bespoke half of the business, personalized sets.

Though he admits being a bookseller was not always his plan (growing up, he worked in his parents’ famed New York City restaurant, the Quilted Giraffe, before going on to found a now-shuttered online startup), books were always part of his life. “The first library that made a real aesthetic impression on me was probably the Sanborn Library at Dartmouth College, where I went to school,” he says. “The feeling of comfort and tranquility and that every book felt like it belonged there and was in exactly the right place is probably something I strive for in every client project I work on.” Take a ski house in Utah, where he recently designed a library: When lined up, the spines form a Tyler Stableford photograph of a snowboarder in a half pipe—but the collection itself is full of art books selected for the owners. “It’s really the perfect combination of a curated library,” Wine says, “[It] can be enjoyed for its content as well as being a unique work of art.”

Photos: Shelf Life

The Library of the NoMad Hotel.

Literary Classics Set, $295, juniper

Custom book jackets for a golf course in Texas.

Ernest Hemingway Set, $395,

A leather-bound collection for a private home.

“Read me” Classic Book Set, $165,

The lobby of the Lorien Hotel and Spa in Alexandria, Virginia.

Thatcher Wine.