If your heart skipped a beat when Beast revealed that glorious library in Beauty and the Beast, or if you couldn’t focus on the drama between Paul and Holly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s because you were too busy admiring the literary treasure trove in the background, then it’s safe to say you’re a book lover.
As a book lover, you grew up begging your parents to take your to the public library instead of the swimming pool.
You’ve dropped paperbacks in the bathtub, used a volume of Shakespeare as a pillow and think that a blanket in the park with your latest bookstore purchase is the height of decadence.
You’ve dabbled in Kindles, iPads and Nooks but they never seem quite right without that rich, papery smell every time you crack open the heavy, rough-cut pages of a new novel or a beloved biography.
While you’d love to keep every book you’ve ever read, your collection can quickly turn from a pleasant pastime into a disorganized mess of mismatched stacks. Never again! For your sake, and the sake of those beautiful books, we’ve compiled 11 mind-blowing book storage tips.
11 Book Storage Ideas for Your Home
1. Make your books part of your decor.
“If you have home decor books or coffee table books,” Samantha from Simply Organized says, “I love showcasing them on bookshelves or tables around the house.”
The right decorations will make your space feel warm and inviting while reflecting your personality. Incorporate part of your book collection right into any room in your home — personalize your bare shelves and tables by leaning books upright against accent bookends, lay them flat or use them as a base to hold candles or trinkets.
2. Keep your goodnight stories in reach.
Imagine being able to fall asleep surrounded by your favorite love stories, mysteries and dramas. Your bed is most likely the largest piece of furniture in your bedroom (and if not, what are you keeping in there!), which makes it the perfect place to sneak in a little book storage.
- Rethink the foot of your bed. Instead of the traditional foot-of-bed bench or chest, add shelves to turn this spot into a mini library.
- Headboard storage. Swap out your headboard for over-the-bed storage. Achieve this by adding shelves above your bed or placing a thin table against the wall, allowing you to stack your collection behind your bed.
- Under-the-bed shelving. If you have room, install small shelves in the space under your bed, keeping your titles visible but out of the way.
3. Get rollin’.
If you don’t already know the wonders of traveling storage, it may be time to invest in one of these options:
- Bar cart: Not only does a bar cart transport your items, but it can fit in the small crevices of your home. Try turning yours into a rolling library or add a few books to an existing minibar.
- Plant dolly: An easy way to keep your books mobile yet out of the way is to lay them flat on a plant dolly. Leave the dolly in a living room corner with your family’s current reads, in the bathroom with a few magazines or on your kitchen counter with useful cookbooks.
- Vintage wagon: For younger kids, an old (clean) wagon is a great addition to a bedroom. Not only will it contain all their favorite stories in a cool way, but it’s at their height so they can safely reach them without your help.
- Skateboard: Bring that old skateboard out from the garage and put it to use in your kid’s bedroom. Lay books flat on top, and your new bookcase will double as a unique decoration.
4. Make your books do double-duty as a space divider.
Do you live in a small studio apartment? Or does your living room abruptly turn into your dining room? Whatever your situation may be, adding a tall bookcase to an open layout can make a huge difference. Place it behind your couch or in the middle of a room to give the illusion of privacy without compromising a lot of space.
5. Take your library higher.
For those living in small quarters, you’ll need to take advantage of every nook and cranny. Whether it just spans the length of a door molding or spreads across the wall, adding a shelf in the space closest to the ceiling will offer book storage that is organized, safe and out of the way. It will also drag your eyes up, making a short room look larger.
6. Arrange them in your (non-working) fireplace.
If you’re like most people with a fireplace, you’re probably always looking for ways to fill that empty, non-working gap in the center of your living room. Skip the candles, photos or other pricy (and oftentimes tacky) decorations and use your empty fireplace for book storage instead. Add shelves, a short bench or simply arrange by stacking them on top of each other.
7. Expand on your existing storage.
Children’s books are very thin and don’t require a ton of space to store. Instead of installing screw-in shelves that could damage your walls (which can be a whole other problem if you’re renting) or purchasing a bulky bookcase that your kids may soon outgrow, add additional convenient storage to an existing dresser.
To make the dresser book storage project:
- Purchase a few spice racks, likes these ones from IKEA for under $4, that will fit the width of your dresser.
- Paint the racks to match your dresser, or choose fun complementary colors that will serve as an accent feature for the bedroom.
- Attach the spice racks to each side of the dresser, and fill them with books!
8. Convert your closet.
If your have a spare pantry or closet, convert it into your own private mini-library. Remove any bars add install shelves on each wall to maximize your space. Add in a light, and enjoy!
Advanced idea: Replace your existing door with a glass option to show off your personal collection.
9. Use your corners.
When you’re short on space, you know that you need to work every inch of storage. Instead of resorting to traditional shelving — try using rain gutters in the corner of your walls, placing your books facing forward. This will show off your books, instead of just the edges, enticing you or your family to read more often.
To get the look, cut and sand each gutter to the desired length, determine your desired spacing for each unit and drill it into the wall. You can find full instructions here.
10. Transform your walls.
Transform your bare, empty walls by adorning them with your favorite books. Some easy ways to do this are:
- Horizontal ladder: Horizontally attach a re-purposed ladder to your wall, leaning your books against each step. Not only will this act as book storage, but it’ll give your home a rustic feel.
- Hanging baskets: Hang baskets from your walls in any room of your home and fill them with books. This will keep them safe and out of the way.
- Cover an entire wall: Instead of hanging frames, decorations or patterned wallpaper, fill an accent wall or all the walls in a room with shelves covered in books, creating the ultimate book-lovers decor.
11. Conceal them.
“I was having a problem with my toddler dumping all the books off their shelf all the time,” Kelsey from Organizing Life with Littles says, “so I moved their bookshelf into the closet behind a closed door. It’s been so much easier to keep tidy!”
If you love your books but want them out of sight, we won’t judge you. In fact, we’ve got a few ideas on how you can incorporate them into your home without showing them off:
- Pack them in antique suitcases: Old luggage is timeless, and it makes the perfect addition to your comfy home decor. Pack your books in these old suitcases, zip them up and stack them on top of eachother.
- Place them in wicker baskets: Baskets come in all shapes and sizes and can essentially be added to any layout. Place them under tables, tucked away in corners or on book cases.
- Keep them in stools: Many ottomans, stools and chairs come with removable lids, offering a great location to hold your book stash. Only you will know they are in there, and you can pull them out whenever you want them.
No room to store all your books?
If all that’s keeping you from creating your perfect home library is a lack of space, it may be time to reevaluate your home organization strategy. Do you have any book organization ideas? Let us know in the comment section.