Shelf Life: Thatcher Wine Celebrates the Bound Word

Books have long been a quiet yet key element of intelligent design. A wall of volumes not only creates comfort but also conveys the taste, intelligence and passion of its curator. As founder and owner of Boulder’s Juniper Books, Thatcher Wine brings book design to the forefront, celebrating the bound word by creating bespoke collections for private clients and public spaces alike.

Wine, who grew up in a creative household (his parents owned New York’s famed Quilted Giraffe restaurant), got into the book business in 2001. A longtime bibliophile, he began selling rare books after his internet business closed; eventually family friends asked Wine to build a customized library for their home—one that reflected their literary tastes but looked smashing too.

It was a lightbulb moment; soon he was creating book collections, chosen either for author or subject, and in 2010 he began designing book jackets that, when seen together side by side on a shelf, form visually witty art—an African elephant straddles the spines of a collection for Hemingway fans, an Eiffel Tower that spans several vertical shelves is trés chic for Francophiles.

“Everything we do is designed one book at a time, printed one book at a time, assembled one set at a time.”—Thatcher Wine

Today, Juniper Books sells visually striking, ready-made sets by author (Austen, Dickens, Faulkner), subject (Lincoln, Churchill, the Civil War, world religions, poetry, classic cookbooks) or interest (mountaineering, bicycling, gardening), as well as custom sets. Juniper’s single most popular collections (for adults or children) are the Harry Potter sets, but it also creates custom groupings of children’s classics, including The Three Musketeers, The BFG and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; sets of Little House, Nancy Drew, Roald Dahl or Anne of Green Gables books; and “cornerstone libraries” hand-picked for your child and wrapped with a book band that bears his or her name (“Grace’s Library” or “Jack’s Library”).

Whether it’s a ready-made set, a handpicked collection, or an entire library customized to fit your family’s literary and aesthetic tastes, your bookshelf may just get a whole lot smarter. Learn more at

Categories: Stylemakers