Clever Ways to Store Books

Showcase and organize your favorite books and series with these clever book-storage ideas to create your own in-home library

All for One

Sometimes creating a home library can be as simple as arranging a few bookcases. Here, two stand-alone bookcases have been pushed together to fill a bit of unused wall space next to the stairs. Paint the bookcases to match your decor.

Build Out

Rather than constructing traditional floor-to-ceiling bookcase units, consider grouping wall-mount ledges and storage cubes to create a modern take on a book display. Paint the storage cubes and shelves the same color as the wall to create a cohesive look.

Wide-Open Spaces

Break up a large open space by creating a cozy corner library. Use a pair of freestanding bookcases to create an artful display of books, magazines, and collections behind a cozy sofa. A floor lamp tucked neatly into an empty corner sheds light on the reading area.

Floor to Ceiling

If you have the luxury of devoting an entire room to books, use floor-to-ceiling built-in shelves to provide storage for books and display space for collections, as in this home office. A library ladder runs on a track around the perimeter of the room to provide access to books on high shelves.

Tip: Make sure to outfit your home library’s windows with blinds to protect books from harsh sunlight, which can cause fading and eventually deterioration.

Dose of Character

Bare walls in your home are filled with untapped storage potential. These large shelves make use of potentially unused space below a staircase and draw attention toward its unusual design. With their irregular angles, stair landings and attics are also good candidates for floor-to-ceiling built-in bookshelves.

Instant Built-In

Create the look of custom cabinetry without the cost with a wall of freestanding units. Use basic, ready-to-assemble bookcases, and add crown-molding trim on the top and bottom edges to create a built-in look.

Window Frames

Frame a window seat with built-in bookshelves. That way books are just an arm's length away when you're ready to relax on the window seat.

Bedside Bookshelf

Instead of a traditional headboard, a bookshelf creates a storage-packed style statement behind this bed. Built-in lamps provide ample reading light, and baskets placed on lower shelves offer storage for items such as bookmarks and reading glasses.

Air Effects

If you want to display only a few books, build shelves right into an unused wall. These shallow shelves provide enough room to mix books with collectibles and other special objects. Painting the shelves the same color as the walls gives their contents the illusion of floating in air.

All Wrapped Up

Put a stairway landing to use as a mini library. Arrange books by color, and display them with favorite mementos. Make sure the bookcase does not block hallway traffic.

Cookbook Library

If you're an avid cook, keep your favorite cookbooks out and easily accessible with a small built-in bookshelf. Although islands are popular choices for kitchen bookshelves, this version makes use of a bit of empty space at the end of a stretch of cabinetry.

Stacking Up

Mix and match small benches and stack them on top of one another to create a shabby chic bookshelf. Scour flea markets or antiques shops for the benches, and cover them with a fresh coat of paint to keep the display looking neat and unified.

Double-Duty Bookcase

In an open living area, use a bookcase both as a room divider and book storage. Placing shorter books on the top shelves creates less of a visual barrier between spaces.

Kids' Library

Give kids their own library with a bookshelf sized just for them. Keep books for younger kids on the lowest shelf and books for taller, older kids on an upper shelf. Slip oversize books beneath the bottom shelf for easy storage.

On a Roll

Stack oversize books on a plant dolly to create a mini library you can move beside your reading chair or into the center of the room as an impromptu table.

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