Books are an ongoing storage struggle for readers. They’re a collection that can grow indefinitely, requiring ongoing solutions and strategies to keep them organized. While the ideal solution may “win the lottery and get a giant house with a giant personal library,” there are tons of less expensive, more accessible ways to tame your piles of books. Here are eleven options that will keep you from having to make some very hard decisions and a trip Goodwill:
If you don’t have the space for a new bookshelf, I like floating shelves that can easily be added onto as time progresses. These simple u-shaped shelves can be placed side-by-side or stacked, and, unlike more elaborate shelves, it won’t look weird if you keep adding more shelves to the collection. These would go great above a desk, in a living room, or above a beside table.
Corner shelves can be great ways to sneak a little bit of storage into a small area, but they aren’t always the best for rectangular books. This tiered shelf is a rare exception. Not only can the longer shelves accommodate books, they also can be installed as shown, or with all of the shelves pointing in the same direction. If you have the space, two sets of these shelves can also be stacked on top of each other.
While this wouldn’t be ideal for books you need to reach for on the regular, Umbra’s floating bookshelves are another way to sneak in book storage. (If you’re careful, they can even hold a small planter or knicknack.) They can be stacked in a narrow wall (like between a door frame and corner), or scattered for more of a gallery wall feel. If you want to get really deliberate with it, you could even color-code your books.
Transparent coffee tables have been having a moment, and they’re especially popular in small spaces where you want to cut down on visual clutter. But because the two sides are solid, you can also use it as visual storage. You could stack books in two piles, or “shelve” a row (or two) of books horizontally.
This table from mDesign won’t add a ton of book storage since it’s not tall enough for books to stand up, but you can stack a small handful of books below and on top of it.
Like the table above, this one from Vasagle can be used as a side or a night table with considerably more storage space. The table can also be placed with the long side or short side against the wall, and books can be stacked or placed upright.
Open shelf storage on desks is often meant for a desktop computer. But because it’s 2019, you probably don’t own one of those, meaning you can use those shelves for attractive books, instead of an ugly metal box.
If you don’t do a ton of working from home, you don’t need a huge desk. But you can get a small home desk that also comes with two new bookshelves. Similar to the popular leaning ladder shelf style, this desk also has a drawer for stashing checkbooks and other important papers.
If you want a dedicated bookshelf for tons of storage, not a floating shelf or table, there are plenty of options that take up far less space than a traditional shelf. Book spines or towers make vertical storage practical by providing shelves to stabilize the books (and to make it easier for you to grab one in the middle.) If you use deep enough books, the shelves can be fully obsured, too, making the whole effect look effortless.
Shelves with open backs and sides are also more minimalist and open than traditional bookshelves. Plus, they’re also great for displaying things like flowers, lamps, and knicknacks. They can be placed side by side if you want more storage, or on either side of a bed or couch.
Stackable bookcases are also a great way to slowly add storage to a space and can be easily folded or readjusted for moves or reorganization. You can stack them in one room, then decide later you like them side-by-side.