Book Storage Ideas for All Your Favorite Literature

Find your favorite read in no time with these simple book storage ideas.

Whether you pride yourself on being an avid reader or solely pick up a juicy novel on summer vacation, chances are your home holds many books. Maybe your partner or kids are self-proclaimed bookworms. Or perhaps you collected books growing up and find it hard to let go of sentimental reads. No matter the case, it's important to create proper storage for books so they don't clutter your home or become unintentionally damaged over the years.

There's a reason that books are one of the five decluttering categories Marie Kondo encompasses in her Konmari method. Books are an item many of us own a great volume of and hold onto. Luckily, even Kondo thinks books can stay, so long as they are well organized.

If you're looking for a way to display your hardcovers and paperbacks or simply reorganize them, find inspiration with the following book storage ideas.

living room white bookshelf
Brie Williams

1. Organize By Color

Sorting things, whether books or snacks, into the colors of the rainbow is incredibly popular today, thanks in part to the duo behind The Home Edit. With people going so far as to line up cans using the ROYGBIV method in their out-of-sight pantry, why not try it on a living room bookshelf? While this organizing method revolves around creating an aesthetically pleasing appearance, it can also be greatly beneficial to visual learners.

Some people (myself included) remember the color of a book before remembering the author or even the title. If you fall into this category, a row of green spines can help you quickly locate the book you want to read. At the very least, a jaw-dropping color-coded bookcase might motivate you to put that novel away when you're done reading instead of leaving it to disappear into a pile on your coffee table or nightstand.

custom white cabinets book shelves
Dylan Chandler

2. Take Advantage of Available Space

If both your book collection and home are small, there are many opportunities to get creative. There's no reason to install built-in shelves or purchase a pricey bookcase if you lack the space or budget for one. Utilize shelving you already have or try your hand at a DIY project to create some for your collection. Look to your fireplace mantel to line up books or maximize a blank space by building a shelf below a window. Reserve a cubby in your kitchen island to easily access cookbooks when whipping up a new recipe.

two tiered console table with books and decor
David Land

3. Stick to Small Stacks

Have a limited collection of books? Even more reason to use what you already own as storage. Stack a handful of them on your entryway console, a dining room buffet, or a writing desk rather than a bookcase.

When storing books horizontally, limit the piles to two or three books so you can pull them out more easily. This also limits the amount of weight put onto the book spines. You can also use the surface of stacked books to organize entryway items, such as a bowl with your keys and sunglasses. Just be sure to avoid placing decor on top of the book you're currently reading to prevent unnecessary shuffling.

bookshelf with coral and seashell artwork
Michael Garland

4. Display Books with Decor to Maximize Shelves

Storing books alongside home decor can balance a set of beautiful built-ins while also saving you space. Give your favorite family photo or the vase you received for your wedding a spot on a shelf rather than forgotten in a cabinet.

For a cohesive look, incorporate books in a similar color palette to your decor. Or stick to a theme or style, such as coastal, to avoid a cluttered look. Only lay books horizontally that you don't intend to reread anytime soon or that don't fit vertically.

built in bookcase under the stairs
John Merkl

5. Store Books Under Stairs

The space under a staircase is notorious for becoming a cavernous collection of miscellaneous objects. Instead of stowing old paint cans or building materials in the alcove, turn it into a functional place to store books. Build under-the-stairs shelves if you're handy or simply add a freestanding bookshelf to the nook to make reading materials easy to access. Because the height of this built-in storage will be low, consider using it for children's books. Just add a few favorite toys for a mini playroom.

living room with ceiling high bookcase and ladder
Emily Minton Redfield

6. Fill Floor-to-Ceiling Shelving

For the maximalist, more storage is a must-have to properly accommodate a large book collection. Consider floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in your living room, den, library, or even your own bedroom, especially if that's where you do most of your reading. In order to reach the highest level, install a rolling library ladder on a track, which adds both function and style. Include a cozy window seat or plush leather chairs to help you settle in with your current reads.

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