Turn your book collection from a cluttered mess to organized nostalgia with these mind-blowing book storage ideas.

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Does your heart skip a beat at the reveal of that glorious library in “Beauty and the Beast”? Do you struggle to pay attention to the drama in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” because you’re too busy appreciating the books? If so, it’s safe to say you’re a book lover.

Maybe you’ve dabbled in Kindles, iPads, and other e-readers but have found they never seem quite right. They lack that rich, papery smell whenever you crack open the pages of a new or beloved book. But you have one problem. You don’t have storage space for all your books, so you turn to the cloud.

You’d love to keep every book you’ve ever read. But your collection can quickly turn from a pleasant pastime into a disorganized mess. For your sake, and the sake of those beautiful books, we’ve compiled 11 mind-blowing book storage ideas.

1. Use Books As Decor

The right home decor will make your space feel warm and inviting while reflecting your personality. Incorporate part of your book collection into any room in your home. Personalize your bare shelves and tables by leaning books upright against accent bookends or laying them flat. Use your favorite books as a base to hold candles or trinkets on coffee tables.

bookshelf decor

2. Keep Comfort Books Within Reach

Imagine falling asleep surrounded by your favorite love stories, mysteries, and dramas. Your bed is probably your bedroom’s biggest piece of furniture, so it’s a perfect spot for book storage.

  • Rethink the foot of your bed. Add shelves instead of the traditional foot-of-bed bench or chest to turn this spot into a mini library.
  • Headboard storage. Swap out your headboard for over-the-bed storage. Add shelves above your bed or place a thin table against the wall. This allows you to stack your collection behind your bed.
  • Under-the-bed shelving. If you have room, install small shelves under your bed, keeping your titles visible but tucked neatly away.

3. Get Rolling

If you don’t already know the wonders of traveling storage, it’s to invest in some book storage ideas.

  • Bar cart: Not only does it 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. Leave the dolly in a living room corner, the bathroom, or on your kitchen counter.
  • Vintage wagon: For younger kids, an old, clean wagon is a great addition to a bedroom. Not only is it a cool way to store books, but it’s height-level so books are easily accessible.
  • Skateboard: Bring that old skateboard out from the garage and put it to use in your kid’s bedroom. Lay books flat on top, allowing your new bookcase to double as a unique decoration.

Related Article: 6 Creative Storage Solutions for a Kitchen With No Upper Cabinets

Is it better to store books upright or flat?

Generally speaking, storing books upright or flat is okay either way. In most cases, however, storing books upright is the best way to protect them from damage. Storing books flat can sometimes put pressure on the book’s spine, leading to damage.

Time and the number of books stacked can increase the rate of damage. Consider rotating books if you’re storing them flat to prevent deterioration over time. 

4. Use A Bookcase As A Space Divider

Do you live in a small studio apartment? Does your living room abruptly turn into your dining room? Whatever your small space 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 space.

bookcase room divider

5. Take Advantage of Height

For those living in small quarters, you’ll need to take advantage of every nook and cranny. It could span the length of a door molding or spread across the wall. Adding a shelf in the space closest to the ceiling offers book storage that is safe and out of the way. It also raises your eyes, making a short room look larger.

How do I store more books in less space?

If you’re short on space, maximizing the space you do have is essential in storing more books in less space. Using height is a perfect example of taking advantage of what you have. Consider using high, unused kitchen space for book storage ideas as well. Cupboards about the refrigerator or sink are good examples of frequently unused spaces you can utilize for books.

Related Article: How to Live in a Studio Apartment: Tips and Tricks

6. Arrange Books In A Non-Working Fireplace

Fireplaces are great for their intended use, but if you have an out-of-commission fireplace, put it to use. Skip the candles, photos, or other pricy trinkets, and use your empty fireplace for book storage. Add shelves, a short bench, or simply arrange by stacking books on top of each other.

7. Expand On Existing Storage

Children’s books are very thin and don’t require a ton of space to store. Forgo installing floating shelves that could damage your walls or purchasing a bulky bookcase that your kids may soon outgrow. Instead, add additional convenient storage to an existing dresser.

How to make dresser book storage:

  1. Purchase a few shelf spice racks that will fit the width of your dresser when arranged all together.
  2. Paint the spice racks to match your dresser. Or, choose fun complementary colors that will serve as an accent feature for the bedroom.
  3. Attach the spice racks to each side of the dresser. Then, fill them with books.

8. Convert Your Closet

Closet book storage is a great way to turn your closet into a library. If you have a spare closet or pantry, consider converting it. Remove any bars and install shelves on each wall to maximize your space. Add in a light if needed

If you’re handy, consider replacing the traditional closet door with a glass pane door. This gives you the chance to show off your personal book collection.

9. Use Corners

When you’re short on space, you know you need to work every inch of storage. Instead of resorting to traditional shelving, try using rain gutters. Install the rain gutter in the corner of the walls and place your books facing forward. This will display books, instead of just the edges, enticing you or your family to read more often.

To install, cut and sand each gutter to the desired length. Determine your desired spacing for each unit, and drill it into the wall.

wall bookshelf

10. Wall Transformation

Transform your bare, empty walls by adorning them with your favorite books. There are a few ways to create an appealing book wall.

  • Horizontal ladder: 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. Hang the basket sturdily so they can withstand the weight of the books.
  • Cover an entire wall: Fill an accent wall or all walls in a room with bookshelves. This style creates the ultimate book-lovers decor.

Related Article: 19 Spring Cleaning Tips to Make Your House Into a Home You Love

11. Conceal Books

If you love your books but want to keep them out of sight, no worries. Here are a few book storage ideas you can incorporate without showing them off in your home.

  • Pack books in antique suitcases: Antique luggage is timeless and makes the perfect addition to your comfy home decor. Pack your books in these old suitcases, zip them up, and stack them.
  • Place books in wicker baskets: Place them under tables, tucked away in corners, or on bookcases.
  • Keep books in ottomans: Many ottomans, stools, and chairs come with removable lids. They offer 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.

These ideas help you create your dream library at home by providing book storage solutions. Who needs a Kindle when you’ve got the home organizational skills to proudly display your favorite books? 

This post originally appeared on the Life Storage Blog on 5/5/16 and was revised on 7/12/23 to provide new information.

About the Authors

Kate Fann

Kate Fann is an established SEO content writer with 10 years of experience, taking a specialized focus on home-related content. She has a Master's of Marketing degree from Southern New Hampshire University and her work has been featured in publications such as Angi, Broadband Now, and Love What Matters. Kate takes a keen interest in all things home from design and decor to remodeling and cleaning hacks.

Lauren Thomann

Lauren Thomann has written about self storage and moving since 2015, making her our storage expert. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and Linguistics and has published over 150 articles on moving, storage, and home organization. She is also a contributing writer at The Spruce and Martha Stewart.

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