If you just can’t resist spending your paycheck on new titles every week (like some of us), you’ve probably already got a whole personal library at home. But the more you treat yourself, the trickier it gets to keep all those books organized and readily available.
Our Creative Book Storage Ideas
Whether you live in a house or a small apartment, there are multiple ways to save space and prevent messiness. Explore the following tips to see which would work best in your home.
1. Repurposing Your Attic
The attic is a perfect room to create a reading corner and give all your books a new home. If you don’t want to buy new bookcases or shelves, see what materials are already available to you at home to create a DIY book storage unit.
As you can see, even a few old bricks and wood slabs or planks can do the trick, and they’re definitely sturdy enough to bear the weight of all the books.
Add a chair, a cozy crochet blanket, a warm rug, and a lamp, and this will easily become your sanctuary.
2. Tiered Glass Coffee Table
Thanks to their multifunctionality, tiered tables are a marvelously useful piece of furniture. A stylish glass table like this one brings the room together and keeps your books within arm’s length whenever you wish to sit and relax with a hot cup of coffee and your favorite author.
3. Using Crates or Wicker Baskets for Kids‘ Books Storage
Parents know how hard it is to maintain tidiness when children‘s curiosity and playing keep leaving traces around the house. Still, this isn’t an impossible task.
Wooden/plastic crates and wicker baskets are a nifty solution to piles of coloring books and children‘s magazines lying around the floor. Kids can easily reach what they need without asking for help or having to climb chairs, plus putting the books back in only takes a minute.
4. Matching Bookcases by the Fireplace
If you’re really proud of your book collection and want it to be the center of attention in your living room, this is a foolproof way to achieve that.
This space-saving book storage idea allows you to use every inch of the wall, top to bottom. Not to mention that anyone who sets foot in the room will find it breathtaking.
5. Cube Shelves by the Bed
There’s plenty to love about this storage organizer. First, it’s easy to incorporate into any bedroom design. Also, its size and shape allow you to store a lot of books on it, keeping them close to your bed if you like reading before sleep.
Lastly, it’s a cool replacement for a nightstand, too!
6. Wire Frame Shadow Box
This unit belongs in any room, not to mention it’s one of the best ideas for book storage in smaller spaces, where you have to keep things off the floor. Install multiple boxes for a creative design or a single one to turn your book series into a real feast for the eyes.
7. Low Windowsills
Plants and family photographs aren’t the only personal possessions people keep on a spacious windowsill. Although it’s not suitable for a larger number of books, this is a great spot for a few select titles you prefer to have nearby whenever you feel like reading.
A kitchen window is just the right spot for your best cookbooks, while bedroom or living room windowsills are more welcoming of your favorites or current reads.
8. Display Cabinet
Not every book is handed to us by a salesperson in a store. Some have special sentimental value — they were given to us as gifts, passed on by former generations, or signed by a writer or artist we love.
A stylish display cabinet is just the place for such personal possessions.
A modern-style glass cabinet can also serve as great comic book storage. You can put the spotlight on all your collectibles and memorabilia that deserve everyone’s admiration.
9. Desk With a Hutch
Small offices can be tricky to organize, especially if your work requires you to have specific books at your disposal at all times.
In that case, a hutch is an excellent addition to your desk. The taller it is, the more storage space it offers, not just for books but other necessities, too.
10. Floor-to-Ceiling Shelves
Though it’s far from cheap, this book storage option is a worthwhile investment that could spare you a lot of headaches in the long run. Because of its size, you may not even have to look for ways to save space in the rest of your home and spend more money on other units.
Such shelves usually work best in the living room, but you can install them in any area you find suitable. Use them to create a personal library, which you can also decorate with potted plants, family pictures, clocks, and anything else near and dear to your heart.
11. Utilizing the Space Behind Doors
This photo is a fantastic example of making the most of every single inch of space. Not just due to the bookshelf‘s height but its position too.
This is a truly creative book storage solution because it assigns purpose to so much wasted space behind the door. If the idea seems appealing to you, it would probably be best to get a custom-built unit so you’ll be absolutely sure it’ll fit where it’s supposed to.
12. Floating Shelf in the Middle of a Loft Bunk
Are you sharing a bunk bed with a friend or a roommate in a tiny bedroom? By installing a wall-to-wall bookshelf between the two decks, you maximize space efficiency, not to mention practicality.
Another way to assign purpose to unused space is a custom-built drawer that fits under the bottom bed. Here you can keep all the books you don’t need easy access to. In case you’re just deciding on a bunk bed, we highly recommend buying one with a built-in drawer.
13. Stair Spandrel Shelving
A unique book storage design such as this one makes for an extremely exciting DIY project.
You can use the entire understairs area for bookshelves or integrate the units into a charming little home office, depending on the amount of space available.
14. Corner Table or Leaning Shelf
Don’t overlook corners, either. Unless they’re unapproachable, they make for a fine spot to keep the books you’re currently reading.
Add an armchair and a dazzling hardwood corner table or a leaning shelf for the newest additions to your collection, and the room will be the target of every lirophile’s envy.
As you see, the perfect solution depends heavily on whether you’re working with smaller or bigger spaces. So, before you start sketching and shopping, first make a list of all the book storage furniture units that are suitable for your home and fall within the budget limits.
For more space-saving suggestions, feel free to check out our piece on shoe storage tips and other home-improvement projects!
How do you store lots of books?
People who have to store lots of books in a single space should consider the following options:
- Floor-to-ceiling bookcases
- Floating wall-to-wall bookshelves
- Beds with built-in drawers
- Custom-built bookcases that fit behind the door
- Multipurpose items (e.g., storage ottomans or wooden chests also used as benches)
- Stacking books on the floor (color-coding or arranging them by size for orderliness)
- Converting the understairs area into a cute “bookdrobe”
- Big display cabinets
- Stacking books in a non-functional fireplace (sounds unusual, but it looks adorable if done the right way)
- Tiered or lift-top tables in the living room
How do you organize a lot of books in a small space?
In a tiny house or apartment, book organizers can be invaluable possessions. Since excessively wide or bulky storage units are off the table, look for wall-mounted ones or narrow units that stretch right to the ceiling.
Extra tip: With a suitable space-saving book storage unit, corners and behind-the-door areas can also be converted into mini-libraries.
How do you fit more books on a shelf?
In order to maximize shelf space, first see if there are any books that you no longer wish to keep, so you can donate them or give them to your friends. The rest of them should be stacked flat.
Try to create as little room between the piles as possible by stacking equal or at least similar-sized books on top of one another. That way, you’ll be able to fit more of them on the shelf.
Is it better to store books upright or flat?
This depends on where you’re storing them. For example, if you need to fit as many as possible on a shelf, bookcase, or similar unit, it’s more space-efficient to store them flat. The same goes if you’re stacking them on the floor, especially since you’ll need extra stability.
The vertical arrangement is more convenient when you’ve got fewer books on display. Individual titles are far easier to spot and pick up, and this way, you don’t have to shovel through a whole pile of them just to return one to its original place.
Where should I put my books in my room?
There are plenty of book storage options that work well in the bedroom, even if it’s small. Here are a few cool ideas:
- Multifunctional cube shelves by the bed
- A tiered nightstand
- Leaning corner shelves
- A bookcase behind the door (in case there’s enough room to fit it in)
- Floating shelves above the door
- Low windowsills
- A storage drawer under the bed
- A bedroom bench with storage
To see what these book storage ideas look like applied in different rooms, just scroll up and browse the gallery!