Dwellings | Los Angeles Public Library
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Andrea Borchert, Librarian, Science, Technology & Patents Department,
Library Yurt

Sometimes you wake up in the morning and decide you want to build a house. But you don’t just want to build any house. You want an amazing house. The Science, Technology & Patents Department has a collection of books that can help with that.

Say what you really wanted to build was a circular home. We have Building Tipis & Yurts: Authentic Designs for Circular Shelters. This book contains information on building a yurt or teepee and on incidentals like setting up a bath or toilet outdoors…

Now I don’t want to build a Yurt anymore.

Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties and How to Build Them  definitely deserves a mention, not only for the alliteration of the title, but also for giving instructions on building a bog ken. A bog ken is a house on stilts. This book is also listed under the interesting subject “Huts Design and construction Amateurs’ manuals” which implies to me that there are lots of expert Hut builders out there who roll their eyes when you bring this book up.

We have How to Build an Igloo and Other Snow Shelters. This book gets checked out a lot, considering that this is Southern California. I guess that it’s always good to be prepared, just in case.

There’s a book called The Cob Builders Handbook  which is sadly not about building a home out of corncobs but about building with a mixture of sand, clay, water, and straw.  The writer says it’s “like hand-sculpting a giant pot to live in.”

Despite the criminal lack of corncob books, there are several straw bale-building books. In these books bales of straw are used to construct homes. If you can get past the obligatory three little pigs jokes in The New Strawbale Home  these homes look lovely, the porcine creatures are strictly optional.

In How to Build Treehouses, Huts & Forts the important thing is location. This book is written for a younger audience, but I can’t help paging through it and feeling nostalgic for my childhood. Or, at least, feeling nostalgic for my imaginary childhood, the one where I had a tree house, a swimming pool and a pony named Sprinkles…and a dinosaur.

If all of this seems like too much work for you, we do have a book called Prefabulous: The House of Your Dreams, Delivered Fresh from the Factory It’s not really a how to so much as a display of the types and quality of prefabricated houses.  These and other construction books are here in the Science Department to help you build the house of your dreams.


Library Yurt at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Yurt_Library.jpg
File is licensed under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

Latrine at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pit_latrine_(2957047785).jpg
File is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. The author is SuSanA Secretariat.

Igloo at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Iglu_1999-04-02.jpg
File is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license or the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license. The author is Ansgar Walk.

Piglets at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Baby_piglets.jpg
The File is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. The author is Scott Bauer.

Tree house at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Www.treetopbuilder.net-10.jpg.
The file is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. The author is Jacupus.

Sandcastle is at http://www.reusableart.com/v/people/children/children-on-beach/children-on-beach-04.png.html.
Because it was published in 1896 it is in the public domain.