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Get ready for a porch party this summer!

Porches are as American as apple pie! Instantly, famous porch scenes come to mind from classic works of literature such as Catcher in the Rye, Gone with the Wind and To Kill a Mockingbird, and just about every movie has a porch scene or at least shots of a porch. They are a major cultural icon.

Your porch is a buffer zone between the intimacy of your home and your public life, and it sets the mood and tone of your home.

The Detroit Lakes Library can help you design or perfect your porch. We have the specialty magazine Outdoor Rooms available at the library, as well as many books on the topic. The books highlighted below are some of the newer titles on the subject. Let the porch party begin at your library!

• Perfect Porches: Designing Welcoming Spaces for Outdoor Living, by Paula S. Wallace. A well-designed porch is like a welcoming committee that invites friends and family to share stories, catch up on neighborhood news, or quietly enjoy the breezes of a sultry summer evening.

In more than 250 stunning photographs of forty homes, "Perfect Porches" illustrates how varied these iconic American spaces can be. A wealth of structural appointments are presented, such as the extended eaves of a rain porch along the Gulf Coast, the shimmering copper flooring of a converted Amish cattle barn in Bluegrass country, and Outback-inspired painted thresholds in California's wine region. Unexpected ornaments, including Moroccan pendant lamps, a vintage watering can collection, or a majolica menagerie can transform even the most modest porch into an oasis.

• On the Porch: Creating Your Place to Watch the World Go By, by James Crisp. A porch can change the look of your house, provide a transition from indoors to outdoors and offer another living space. With so many benefits, it's a wonder not every house has one.

In On the Porch, you can see fabulous porches from coast to coast. The lushly photographed book offers tips on planning, design, decoration, landscaping and construction, as well as a look at different types of porches -- you'll almost feel the breeze and taste the lemonade.

• Porch & Sunroom Planner, by Better Homes and Gardens. From planning your dream indoor/outdoor room to furnishing the completed space, here's everything you need to know about adding or remodeling a porch or sunroom. This book will guide homeowners through choices to create better, more stylish outdoor rooms within budget. It supplies current information on materials for foundations, furnishings, floor and wall coverings and more. From wall construction and roofing types to drainage, site concerns, and other building details, it includes extraordinary photographs inspiring homeowners to bump out and build up to bring the outdoors in. This book contains handy worksheets combined with expert advice to help homeowners avoid surprises.

• Dream Porches and Sunrooms: Designing the Perfect Retreat, by Michael Snow. Porches not only provide a practical function by extending living and entertaining space, but they also fulfill aesthetic and social needs by exuding a sense of welcome and creating an appealing transition from indoor to outdoor.

In Dream Porches and Sunrooms, homeowners are invited to discover the simple pleasures these additions can bring to their life by envisioning the various design possibilities available as well as gaining an overview of the porch creation process.

The Detroit Lakes Library is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed on Sundays.

For more information on library services and programs, please call 218-847-2168 or visit your library at 1000 Washington Ave.

The Detroit Lakes Library is a branch of Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL).