15 Of The Best Book Storage Ideas & Solutions
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Whether you’re an avid, self-proclaimed bookworm, enjoy the occasional novel, or could literally build a house out of books, the right kind of book storage is vital. If you don’t have adequate space for your book collection, things can start to look pretty cluttered.
Plus, it’s difficult to find what you’re looking for, and curling up with a good book becomes anything but relaxing. Then, there’s the matter of storing your books well so that they stay in good condition. Luckily, there are numerous ways to keep your hardcovers and paperbacks so you can find a method that works for you and fits your personal sense of style.
You can go with traditional bookshelves, DIY masterpieces, or unique ready-made options to help you corral your books and keep them within arm’s reach.
15 Clutter-Free Storage Ideas For Your Books
1. DIY Book Bin
This bin is an excellent choice for storing kid’s books because it puts them at the perfect height for little eyes and hands to see and reach.
Plus, it enables you to face your books forward, which helps young children since they can see the covers (and find the book they want) easily. This Little Street went full DIY on this bin, building it with wood and adding decorative paper and legs.
But, if you don’t consider yourself overly handy, you could get a small, pre-made bookshelf and turn it on its back. Then, all you need to do is reinforce the bottom and attach the legs to create a similar storage solution. Either way, you end up with a cute way to show off your kid’s books.
2. Wooden Crate Book Shelves
If you like a more rustic look, or perhaps your home’s design is farmhouse chic, wooden crates can become several different things, including bookshelves.
Haute and Healthy Living simply stacked these six crates together to create an instant display place for books and décor. You can stack as few or as many crates as you want to achieve the storage you need, but make sure to secure them together safely.
You can vary the look a bit with paint and other embellishments to design a set of shelves that works in your space. You also can go for even more visual interest by stacking an odd number of crates for a stairstep design or other different shapes.
3. Create a Spool Shelf
It seems you can find these old spools in almost every flea market, secondhand shop, and even salvage yards. The best part is, there are so many ways you can breathe new life into these popular pieces.
That’s exactly what Our House Now a Home did when they took an old spool, some plywood, and wooden dowel rods to create a circular bookshelf. The plywood forms the sturdy shelves, and the rods act as dividers and bookends, keeping books upright.
This newly converted spool shelf is showcasing children’s books, but you can use it for any of your collections. It’s the perfect DIY shelf for a rustic look or painted white; it has a shabby chic feel.
4. Classic Built-In Bookcase
If you love the look of a wall of books (and what book lover doesn’t?), then a classic built-in bookcase is a no-brainer. This stunning display from Right Up My Alley does a great job of marrying form and function, styling the bookshelves in a thoughtful way that makes the whole composition very pleasant to look at.
From the paneled backing to the matching sconces and carefully interspersed art pieces, every element adds just the right touch. Plus, mixing up the way you display your books can also add visual interest.
Notice here, some are upright, while others are stacked, and some shelves are full of books, while others feature a mix of books and décor.
5. Rain Gutter Book Shelves
One of the best things about storage and organization is how many unique ways you can use different items. For example, these shelves from Anikas DIY Life are perfect for displaying some reading favorites, but they were once basic rain gutters.
The PVC gutters become unrecognizable once you fill them with colorful paperbacks and hardcover books.
This shelf solution is another perfect choice for displaying children’s books since it faces the book covers outward for easy recognition.
Plus, as an added bonus, the gutters are sturdy enough to hold several books but won’t support the weight of kids tempted to climb the walls. They’re easy to install, easy to clean, and inexpensive, making them a popular go-to for DIY lovers.
6. An Invisible Book Shelf
What if you could turn your books into shelves? You have to admit that this floating book effect looks pretty cool. These stacks of books may appear to be hovering in space, but it’s all an illusion, thanks to the Umbra Floating Shelves from Kohl’s.
Each of these steel shelves holds up to 15 pounds, so about 4 to 6 books depending on the size. You can even position one book on the shelf to create a literal “book” shelf and use it to display other items.
This floating look is perfect for a minimal design or an industrial space or if you just want to add a quirky touch to your room. Using several shelves together can also help you create visual interest on your wall; it’s like getting book storage and wall art together in one.
7. Go Backless
A backless bookcase with a low profile, like this one from Wayfair, is an excellent choice for a smaller space since it has a lighter, airier feeling. It’s a great alternative to overly bulky, dark furniture pieces that tend to weigh down a room visually. Plus, it still stores quite a bit, from books to home decor and more.
The geometric, mid-century modern design provides a cool, crisp look, and leaving some of the shelves empty helps keep things from looking visually cramped. Furniture with legs that lift it up also helps make a space feel roomier. Pieces don’t feel as heavy when they float up from the floor a bit.
8. Book Storage That Keeps Rolling Along
Another great option for storing books in a small space is this rolling cart from Amazon. It brings a playful, retro vibe to any room, plus you can easily move it around where you need it to go.
You can quickly create a moving home office by filling the cart with books and office necessities, or perhaps it becomes the perfect place to store all of your favorite cookbooks and baking supplies in the kitchen.
It would also be right at home in a kid’s room, full of colorful children’s books, or packed with fun novels at your bedside. With four shelves, you can store quite a bit of your book collection without taking up an overly large footprint in the room.
9. A Library Feel at Home
If you prefer a more traditional look in your home, then this set of library bookcases complete with a ladder from Hayneedle is for you. The ladder especially gives it just the right touch to make you feel like you’ve walked into your very own personal library (plus, it’s fun).
Of course, if this look is for you, there are endless options available, from super traditional to ultra-modern, with shelves that take up a small space and others that can fill an entire wall.
When it comes to storing books on traditional shelves, how you do it is up to you. You can pack them full of books to go for that full-on library vibe or mix it up a bit with home décor pieces. Whatever you decide, make sure to leave clearance for the ladder to move seamlessly across the shelves.
10. Ladder Bookcase
Ladder-style bookcases are another good choice for small spaces since they offer an open and airy feel. Plus, they grow more narrow toward the top, which helps keep the whole piece visually light, despite its tall frame. You can store books, pictures, vases, and other items on the shelves, and many ladder bookcases, like this one from Cymax, feature drawers or a cabinet at the bottom.
This closed storage is perfect for stowing away items you’d rather not have on display. Ladder bookcases also come in many different styles, from traditional to rustic and modern, so you can find one that suits your taste the best.
11. Anchors Away! Boat Bookcase
For a twist on the traditional bookcase, why not go a little whimsical with a themed set of bookshelves, like this boat bookcase from Wayfair? It’s the perfect touch for a nautical or beach-themed space, plus it offers a lot of storage, featuring multiple shelves and two deep drawers at the bottom.
You can find various styles of boat bookcases from different retailers. You can even go a step further and DIY a boat bookcase out of an old canoe if you’re so inclined, turning the seats into shelves and adding your own special touches. Basically, it’s the perfect example of how anything can become a bookshelf with a bit of ingenuity and imagination.
12. Load Up the Wagon…with Books!
Speaking of turning anything into a bookshelf, how about this cute idea from 1 Pure Heart? What a fun and clever way to store your kid’s books — in a classic red wagon!
Of course, your kids might want to pull their books around with them wherever they go, but that can actually be a good thing. Simply wheel the books into the playroom during the day and back into the bedroom when it’s time for storytime at night.
This could also work well in a vintage-themed space or if you’re looking to add some country touches to your design. There’s something about a red Radio-Flyer wagon that just screams Americana at its finest.
13. Skateboard Shelves
This skateboard shelf from Etsy is super clever and the perfect way for the avid skater to display books. It’s also an idea that you can expand on, creating unique storage solutions across an entire wall if you wanted.
You could use several skateboards, hung at different heights and angles, to create fluid shelving for your books. Depending on how you position them, you can make your books appear as if they’re literally skating across your walls.
It’s all about making it your own and having it work for you. If this is a style you’d like to try, start gathering up old, worn-out skateboards so you can breathe new life into them as the ultimate book storage.
14. A Basket of Books
If you only have a few books or perhaps want to set up a reading nook for guests, a quaint, pretty basket is just the right touch. There’s something charming and relaxed about this simple approach to book storage. Plus, baskets are easy to come by, so take a cue from this Etsy idea and find a basket that works for you.
Choosing a basket with handles makes it easy to move the books from room to room. For example, if you opt for this solution for your guests, perhaps they can use the basket to gather up some reading material from your main library and bring it back to their room during their visit.
15. Books at Your Fingertips
Whether you only have a handful of books or you have several that you need to keep close for work, storing them tabletop is a great way to keep them within arm’s reach. You can keep essential volumes on a shelf like this one from Shoebox Dwelling, easily accessible on top of your desk or workspace.
This is also a great solution to store books you’re currently reading on a table near your favorite reading chair or nook. Then, as you move on to a new book, you can rotate them out from your main shelves. This keeps your reading area relaxed and cozy, and you don’t waste any time looking for your book.
How To Make Your Book Storage Work For You
With so many options for book storage, you might be a little unsure where to start. It’s essential to remember that the best book storage is the one that works well and makes you happy. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting your book storage.
Know Your Organizing Preferences
Organizing your belongings looks different for everyone. You might prefer to keep everything hidden out of sight, or you may need to see what you have. No matter what your organizing style, you can find a storage solution for your books that works for you.
First things first, you need to determine what your preferences are when it comes to the overall look of your space. For example, if you can’t stand visual clutter, then you might prefer to keep your books in a cabinet or create an art statement with your books.
However, if you need to see every title, then a traditional bookcase might be your best bet. If you like a more organic look, then simply piling your books into a basket or stacking them on a few shelves might be just the ticket.
Keep Your Book Collection Under Control
If you’re a book lover, you know a book collection can quickly get out of control. Before you know it, you look like you could run a small library out of your house. To ensure books don’t take over your space, consider these tips:
1 – Only keep books that you love, are useful reference materials, or that you haven’t read yet (and plan to soon).
2 – If you have many books you simply can’t part with, consider rotating them every few months. Half of your collection can stay on display, while the other half can stay tucked away in bins (provided you have adequate storage space for the bins, of course).
3 – If you’re only keeping a book for reference purposes, ask yourself, can you find the information online? If the information is easily accessible, you could pass the book along.
4 – Likewise, if it’s a novel you’re interested in reading but don’t actually need to keep around the house, check it out of the local library or read a digital version.
Styling Your Books
If your books are out in the open, make them a part of your design. You can stack books on floating shelves, face them backward for a more uniform look, or even wrap them in custom book covers. To keep bookshelves from looking overly cluttered, split sections of books up with home decor pieces, like a decorative vase or interesting curio.
You can also give your books an interesting backdrop by painting or wallpapering the inside of your bookcase. For a cleaner look, position books by size on the shelf, going from larger to smaller. Of course, if you’re the type that needs to put all of your books in alphabetical order, then placing them by size likely won’t work. In this case, splitting up books with decor pieces works very well.