Staying organized is a popular New Year’s resolution for many people — especially when it comes to your home or apartment. Having a clean and organized space makes us feel less cluttered and clear minded. However, it’s easier said than done for those who have an extensive book collection with limited storage in their apartment.
Knowing how to store books in a small apartment is very important as it not only keeps your space clutter-free, but also keeps your books fresh and lasting for a lifetime. If you are in need of some creative ways to store or display your books, check out these 20 creative book displays to showcase your favorite literary collection.
A functioning fireplace is no place to store books, but a faux fireplace works great as a built-in bookshelf. Non-functioning fireplaces are unique architectural features that are purely for design purposes. Make use of the empty space in your faux fireplace by turning it into a display for your book collection.
If you have a barely used storage closet in your apartment, try turning it into a mini library. Replace coat racks with shelving units and decorate your little space to make it the perfect little book haven, fit for literary lovers.
To show off your little library, take the door off the hinges or replace it with a glass door so all of your guests can admire your book display.
If you live in a studio apartment or a large multi-purpose space, using a bookshelf as a room divider is both unique and functionable. You could use a standard shelving unit that displays your books to divide your room to give it more privacy.
If you are aiming for a more open look, try using etagere shelving to divide your room and display your books.
Your bed takes up a lot of space in your bedroom and therefore has plenty of storage space underneath it. You could use decorative bins under your bed to store your books so they are protected and organized or use cubbies to display your books and make good use of the otherwise wasted space.
Rather than placing your books on top of the coffee table where they are vulnerable to coffee mug rings and accidental spills, display your books under the coffee table. Use cubbies that fit underneath and arrange your books with the spine facing outwards for an easy and functionable book display.
The space under your stairs oftentimes leaves an oddly angled and empty corner in your apartment. These types of places can be great to store books as it gives the space functionality and personality.
Try adding in bookshelves under the steps to arrange your book and other decorative elements like house plants and trinkets to make it a one-of-a-kind book display.
Make reaching for bedtime stories easy by storing your books in your headboard or baseboard. You can replace your current headboard with a headboard bookcase or create your own literary baseboard using a short and wide bookshelf that is the same width of your bed. Place it at the foot of your bed and fill it with all of your favorite books.
Using console tables or a short and wide bookshelf behind you couch is a great place to display your books. If your couch is against the wall, try pulling it out about 12 inches and placing a shelf or table that is the same height of your couch in the gap. Arrange your books on the shelf along with other decorative elements to create a charming book display.
If you have a bench in your entryway or under a windowsill, try using the space underneath to store your books. This transforms your otherwise boring bench into a functional bookshelf, keeping all of your favorite books close at hand.
If your bench is under a window, add some cushions on top to create a cozy reading nook.
If you have an extensive book collection and a big wall that is in need of decoration, turn it into a floor to ceiling book display. This setup will keep all of your books in one place while giving off a grand library look. You could also frame the blank wall space around your door as well.
Ladder shelving is a trendy and creative way to display your books while giving an old vintage ladder new life. Ladder shelves are commonly used to hang throw blankets or showcase ornament collections, but can also be used as a rustic or Scandinavian style bookshelf.
If you have a bare and empty corner, but a seemingly endless amount of books to store, try investing in a revolving bookshelf. A revolving bookshelf allows you to store and display more books than an average bookshelf. Add picture frames, plants and other decorative elements to personalize it even more.
Floating shelves are stylish and practical, as they offer extra display space while simultaneously embellishing your walls. Create your own wall library by using floating shelves to display all of your favorite pieces of literature. Using square or honeycomb shaped shelves adds character and an opportunity to create a collage on your wall.
Turn an old bar cart into the ultimate bookshelf on wheels. Add baskets or bins to each tier of the cart to sort your books to keep them organized. Adding wheels to the bar cart makes the mini library even more functionable as you can bring all of your favorite reads from room to room with ease.
As boring and unorganized as a stack of books on the ground sounds, an organized and thought-out stack of books can be an eccentric yet beautiful decorating decision. Get creative and stack your books near a cozy chair or fireplace starting with the largest and heaviest book at the bottom working your way up to the smallest.
Add a decorative statue or ornament at the top to tie the look together.
The small unused space behind your door is often forgotten as it's usually covered. Use a thin shelf in that space to store your books and make it functionable. That way, whenever you close your door you find a clever and charming library waiting for you.
If you have a dresser that has a stack of drawers, try storing your books in an unused drawer. This will keep your books together in one place while keeping them safe. However, if you would rather have your books on display, try taking out the top drawers of your dresser and turn them into shelves for your books. You can store them in baskets for a more put together look.
For smaller book collections, try using corner shelving to display. You can choose a standard corner shelf or make your own using floating shelves. This gives a blank and bland corner some life while letting you show off all of your favorite books.
Prove your love of literature to all of your guests by turning your staircase railing into a book display leading upstairs. This puts use to any dead space while showcasing your books in a fun and unexpected way. Stack your books vertically so they rest against the railing safe and snug.
An empty windowsill is basically an empty shelf, making it a good place to store your books. If your windowsill is big enough, you could add pillows and other cozy elements to make a cute reading nook. However, if you have old or precious books, it’s best to keep them out of the sunshine so they last longer. So keep in mind that a windowsill that has limited to no sunlight works best.
Books are precious, especially if you have a rare or vintage book that has been passed down for generations. The two most important things to keep in mind when storing books is to have the right shelving and knowing how to arrange the books properly so they will be kept safe and avoid cracking or bending.
The shelf should ideally be a rust-proof metal shelf to avoid any harm to your precious books. Wooden shelves also work fine, but make sure the wood is coated with water-borne polyurethane varnish to avoid any acid transferring to the books. Very acidic wood like oak should be a material to avoid.
You also want to store your books on a shelf that is on a well-ventilated interior wall. Walls turned to the exterior should be avoided because the outside temperature overtime could harm your books. When you hang a shelf to display your books, leave some room for good air circulation.
Books should be kept upright in a vertical position or laying down horizontally — never tilted. When arranging your books, you’ll want to keep the shelf full so the books can snuggle against each other. If you don’t have enough books for that, invest in a bookend to place on each side of your collection.
You also want to try as much as possible to store similar sized books next to each other. If you have big and heavy books, store them horizontally together, otherwise they have an easier chance of tilting. The key is to make it as easy as possible to remove your books from the shelf without breaking the spine or bending the cover.
To keep your books fresh in storage, you’ll want to try your very best to keep them away from any harsh conditions that could cause your books to deteriorate over time.
Like stated before, avoiding walls that are turned to the exterior is important so you can keep your books fresh. You want to keep your books in a place where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate too much so you can avoid books from cracking, bending or molding. The ideal temperature would be between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Humidity is also an extremely important factor to consider when storing your books as any damp air can cause harm to the pages or even the cover. While humidity is important to avoid, an environment that is too dry will also cause damage to your books, making the pages brittle. Brittle pages will eventually lead to cracks and tears.
Direct sunlight will diminish the color on the covers and spines of your books, so avoiding places where sunlight directly hits is important. Not only will the sunlight harm your books, but the heat associated with the sun will cause damage as well. Heat is never good for books, so keeping them away from a sunny window or providing proper sun-blocking shades is your best bet to keep your books fresh in storage.
Making sure you have a proper cleaning routine is important for your books as well. You don’t want to have dust accumulate on your bookshelves — or books — overtime as this will age them. Make sure you keep them well dusted or invest in a dust jacket to keep your books looking brand new.
Knowing how to store books in your small apartment will not only make your space look put together and organized, but will also keep your books lasting for years to come. Whether you are planning a display for a new apartment or trying to find room in your current one, these book displays will show off your collection while keeping them safe and protected.