Thatcher Wine wants you to reconsider bookshelves — and the power of print.
Does that name sound familiar? He’s the gentleman Gwyneth Paltrow recently hired to curate her book collection, a bit of celebrity news so delicious that Twitter dined on it for days.
Now Wine, the founder of Juniper Books, has tapped a Massachusetts book buyer to help him tell that story. Elizabeth Lane, a book buyer at Partners Village Store in Westport, and Wine, book curator to the stars, have co-written “For the Love of Books: Designing and Curating a Home Library.”
Their book — itself a sturdy beauty, worthy of coffee table display — shares Wine’s vision with Juniper and “recounts the history of books and private libraries, and champions the resilience of physical books in the digital era.”
The duo discuss the book in Westport on Saturday, Sept. 14.
“The books we keep are the stories we tell about who we are,” said Wine, a former Boston resident, in a phone interview from Boulder, Colo.
Wine’s other fans include Oprah Winfrey and Kimora Lee Simmons, and his collections — think a book series with custom bindings to show a photo when lined up on a shelf, or a set of Jane Austen volumes made to match your bedroom — tend to get featured in gift guides and style lists in Vogue, Vanity Fair, and the like.
We caught up with Wine to talk books ahead of his Massachusetts talk.
Q. I know you just did Gwyneth Paltrow’s books. Who are some other big names you’ve curated for?
A. We don’t disclose our clients. We have a lot of celebrities and finance people, business leaders, CEOs. So we’ve been pretty discreet over the years, and I think people are fixated on the Gwyneth connection.
Q. How do you do come up with your jacket designs?
A. It can really start with anything — the color palette of the room, or these are new books, but we want them to look like classic books like the “Downton Abbey” library. [So we’d take] the biography of Jay-Z or Keith Richards, but give it an antique leather style jacket design.
Q. It sounds like you’re trying to get at the heart of what books say about a reader?
A. Yeah, books are more important now than ever. In the digital era, a lot of people a few years ago were quick to assume: e-readers are taking over, why do we need printed books? And I think after a few years of the Kindle ramping up, that’s plateaued.
Everybody can relate to that feeling of: I’m kind of tired at looking at my phone all day. It’s refreshing to bring my attention to the printed page. It helps me calm my nervous system. It’s better for my kids. It’s a good antidote to social media and all the frenetic energy that’s in the world. That’s the microlevel.
And at the macro-level it’s comforting to walk into a book store, or someone’s home that has a lot of books. You just feel very grounded. I think there’s enough people who love the book that it has a few more centuries to go.
Q. What are some of your favorite Boston book stores?
A. Brattle Bookshop. I could just move in there. They have just great historic New England collections on every subject, and especially leather bindings, I love browsing through those. We use some of those for our collections that we build.
The duo reads at 1 Partners Way, Westport, Sept. 14, at 3 p.m.