Book lovers might have different preferences in terms of literary genres and authors, but most of them deal with an all-too-common problem: where to put all those books? Storage space is an issue in most homes, and adding heaps of books on top of all your other belongings will certainly make things more challenging.

However, as all book lovers know, there’s no such thing as too many books, which means your attention should focus on finding new ways to store your precious volumes. Here’s a roundup of 10 creative ideas for adding more book storage options to your home.

1. Create a cozy book nook

Choose an underused corner in your home, or even a window area, and build shelving so that it creates a semi-enclosed space where you can relax and enjoy the books stored all around you. Assuming you build the book nook in the corner of your living room or bedroom, install bookshelves on the two sides of the wall, and add a third, freestanding bookshelf that acts as a room divider, separating your cozy reading area from the rest of the room. All that’s left to do is pick up a comfortable armchair, or even some floor pillows, so that you can lounge comfortably while reading.

You can build a book nook around a window as well — which might be even better, as it ensures plenty of natural light for your reading. In this case, you need two freestanding bookshelves, one on each side of the window — and you can connect the two with an over-the-window shelf for extra storage space and aesthetic purposes as well. Add a comfy bench next to the windowsill, and you’re all set!

2. Install floating shelves throughout the house

Floating shelves are a simple and inexpensive way of increasing book storage potential in your home. They can be installed anywhere you have some free wall space, and you don’t have to worry about taking up precious floor space. Floating shelves for books can also be seen as an interesting interior design choice — you embellish your walls with books instead of other decorations. Arranging your books on these shelves based on color will only add to the visual impact.

3. Consider floor-to-ceiling shelves in underused areas, such as hallways

Floor-to-ceiling shelving is one of the most efficient ways of keeping your books nice and safe, but have you considered installing them in less conventional areas, such as hallways, for example? It can be done even in relatively narrow hallways — slim shelves installed here will hold literally hundreds of books, making good use of an otherwise wasted wall space. Line the shelves with some accent lighting and get extra décor points.

4. Create a stylish book ladder

Ladders are a fun and space-saving way of displaying your books. You can go for a simple ladder leaning against the wall, or you could get a double ladder that stands on its own and allows you to store books on both sides. You could buy such an accessory from furniture stores — there are many stylized ladder bookcases. Or you could get creative and go the DIY route: Get an actual ladder and place shelves on its steps that are wide enough to hold books. An old ladder is perfect for this job.

5. Rent self storage

A self storage unit might be a good solution for some when it comes to storing books. If you have hundreds or even thousands of books, if you collect old books, or if you are dabbling in book trading as a business, a self storage unit might be just what you need.

A self storage unit is one of the easiest, most affordable ways of ensuring proper conditions for your book collection, whether you need to store tomes printed hundreds of years ago or pricy comic books.  Climate-controlled units ensure just the right environment for all books, including valuable, old ones — constant temperature and humidity, and a lack of sunlight. Although street rates can vary depending on where you live, renting a small 5’x5’ or 5’x10’ climate-controlled unit ultimately pays off, as it allows you to keep your expensive items safe.

Below you can find climate-controlled self storage availability and street rates in some of the country’s major cities.

Once you have found and rented a self storage unit, you have to prepare your books for storage. Your main concern should be the state of the books: Dust them properly and make sure they don’t hold excessive moisture from previously being exposed to a humid environment. This could lead to mold and mildew, very dangerous for books and other printed materials. Also, you should ask for an appraisal of your book collection so that you can buy proper self storage insurance.

5. Wheel your books around

Get a storage cart (on wheels) and use it as a mobile library inside your home. A two- or three-tiered cart can hold quite a few books — use it to keep the new ones that you haven’t read yet. And, depending on your mood and preferences, you can easily move your cart from the living room to your office or bedroom.

7. Display your most beautiful books front and center

If you have a collection of art albums, or simply books with really beautiful covers, it’s a neat idea to store them so that the front is visible rather than the spine. This, of course, means they will take up a lot more space, so you’ll have to limit yourself to just a few books displayed in that manner. A glass door cabinet, fitted with some stands or easels that keep the books in a slanted, front-facing position, can become the focal point of your living room and a beautiful part or your home décor.

8. Create a magic, under-the-stairs book kingdom

All that space under your stairs shouldn’t be wasted — instead, you can install deep shelves (or even drawers) that can hold impressive amounts of books. Depending on the inclination and the depth of your stairs, you might even be able to also fit a small desk or a comfy chair in there.

9. Simple yet efficient: wooden crates

Wooden crates are an inexpensive way of adding more book storage options to your home. Whether you stack them on the floor, on their side, or mount them on the walls, the sturdy wooden crates can hold plenty of weight. And, even better, you can get them very cheap or even for free: Just hit up grocery or liquor stores in your area, and you might be able to score some. Let your creativity fly — paint and decorate them so that they add interest to your home.

10. Turn a doorway into a book wall

Doorway areas can upgrade to library status: Simply build bookshelves around and over the door (on one side, or on both sides of the wall). It’s a smart, charming way of making use of the wall areas around doors.

What other fun ways to store your books have you found? Let us know in the comments!


Maria Gatea is a real estate and lifestyle editor for Yardi with a background in Journalism and Communication. After covering business and finance-related topics as a freelance writer for 15 years, she is now focusing on researching and writing about the real estate industry. You may contact Maria via email.

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