Buying new books is fun, but it does leave you stuck with the age-old issue: where to put them all.
As book sales have soared throughout the lockdown, many of us now have loads of texts in our homes.
In many cases, we’ve not got enough shelving and storage solutions to put them all on.
You can sell or donate your old books, but if you’ve got a massive To Be Read pile or you just don’t can’t let go yet, then you’ll need to consider book storage options.
Of course, all of this could be alleviated with a Kindle, but frankly, there’s nothing quite like the experience of reading a paper book. Some people I know love their Kindle, but if you need to have physical copy of a book, then you’ll also need a physical place to keep your collection.
If, like me, you’ve been buying loads of books online during the lockdown, you’ll need some storage solutions.
Things will only get worse now that non-essential shops, like bookstores, have reopened, and you might find your home overrun with books!
While a large bookcase might seem like an obvious choice, it’s not always doable. They’re expensive and can be tough for people to assemble and move, particularly if you’re on your own.
The alternative, stacking your books up in piles all over the floor, isn’t particularly aesthetically pleasing or good for your precious tomes.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to store your books. If you hate doing DIY and don’t want to be making bookshelves all the time, here are some ideas.
Crates might seem like an industrial solution for storing your books in a garage or attic, but they’re actually also useful for displaying them too. They give your space a tidy and utilitarian look. My housemate gave me some plastic crates she had spare, and I love storing my books in them. They’re great for large books, like hardbacks. If you get the crates with the slats in the sides then you can read the titles through the sides, making it easier to find your favourites whenever you want to.
Clear Storage Tubs
Another way to view all your books easily without keeping them in piles on the floor is to store them in clear plastic tubs. You know the kind; they’re the best friend of students everywhere. The kind you can buy from Wilko or B&M for really cheap. You can stack them up on top of each other and then cover them with a pretty throw if you’re keeping them somewhere they can be seen. Then, when you want your books, all you have to do is take the throw off and you can see the contents of the box really easily and find the title you want to read. These tubs are a cost-effective and easy way to store your books and you can hide them under throws and even use them as a table for small items on top, so they’re a unique and versatile solution to your book storage issues.
It might seem a bit like a dumb Pinterest idea that’d never really work in real life, but ladders actually can hold books if you get the right one and prop it against a wall. I’ve seen a few people do it and it’s pretty cool. Plus, you can customise ladders and make them unique and cool. For example, if you get a wooden ladder then you can paint it in awesome colours or even cover it in wallpaper. I’ve also seen people wrap fairy lights around the sides of ladders to make a really funky style for their unique shelving solution. Using a ladder is also cheaper and easier than assembling a bookcase. It also means you can repurpose your shelving as a ladder if you get tired of it. Although, if you’re going to use it in the long run then it’s probably best if you bolt it in place to keep it secure or put a back onto the ladder, so your books don’t keep falling off it.
Sounds weird I know, but hear me out- storing books in drawers is easy and great for if you have a spare chest that you don’t use. After all, people keep CDs and DVDs in drawers in entertainment units, so why not do the same with your books? It’s a great way to display your books, as you can put them all spine up, then find the one you want without having to rummage about too much. Also, it’ll keep your books safe from too much dust, which is good if you like to keep them pristine. If you put too many books in drawers that aren’t suitable for them then they can become heavy and hard to open, so try picking drawers that are on runners. The ones you have to drag out tend to get heavy and unwieldy. It also helps if you pick a pieces of furniture that’s made from good solid wood; a cheap, flimsy piece might break under the weight of your books.
If you like the idea of shelving but don’t have the space for a massive freestanding bookshelf, then you could try using floating shelves that attach to walls. They’re usually pretty easy to hang, although they usually need nails which might be a problem if, like me, you’re 1. Bad at DIY and 2. Living in rented accommodation where you can’t just put up shelves if and when you want to. However, if you live in your own home and are handy with a drill then floating shelves on the walls could help you display your favourite titles without taking up room precious floor space.
Buy A Small Bookshelf
Another solution for if you don’t fancy buying and assembling a full size bookshelf is to consider getting a small, freestanding one. Often they come fully assembled, particularly if you buy them second hand. I got a small spinning bookshelf from a charity furniture store a few years ago and it’s now one of my favourite possessions. It’s great for storing my books, and it spins round, so I can see them in all their glory. Spinning it round is also really fun, so that’s an added bonus!