Although the Kindle, iPad and Nook have transformed the way many people read everything from classic literature to romance novels, good old- fashioned print books are still part of most peoples’ lives. Books are an interesting conundrum. On one hand it’s nice to have them around. They’re full of information, you can refer back to them anytime you want assuming you can find the one you need, and they can add texture, color and interest to a space.
But on the other hand, let’s say you’re doing an empty-nester downsize into a new home and you’ve traded a library for a home gym. What do you do to organize books?
To maximize the space in your new digs and make sure your books are stored and organized, first pare down the books you own to only your most favorite titles. Once you’ve whittled your collection as far as you can, store the ones that remain near where you’ll use them.
Bookshelves, whether wall-mounted or on the floor, are by far the most efficient way to store books, but they aren’t the only way. Here are four non-bookshelf ways to store books, ranging from clever to unusual to just plain fun and quirky. What’s your favorite?
In the old days, many homes had plate-rails. These narrow ledges were affixed to the wall close to the ceiling and ran all or partway around the perimeter of a room. Plate-rails were and still are used to store and display decorative plates but if you substitute a 6 to 8-inch deep shelf for a narrow ledge you can store and display the books you use least often.
Use the Corners
Corners can often be neglected, empty and uninteresting. Wall-mounted corner shelves are an inexpensive and fun way to feature unused corners of any room and make your favorite books super accessible to readers.
What do an old hard-sided suitcase, a wine crate, a rolling teacart and an antique ironing board have in common? They’re all perfectly suited to hold books. Look around your house (or your local Goodwill Store) for interesting items that can be turned sideways, upside down or hung on a wall and used for book storage. Not only will you create more storage space, you’ll get bonus points for being clever and creative!
Stack ‘Em Up
Use short stacks of books as a base to give small table lamps a little extra height or to feature a framed photograph. Or, stack books seemingly precariously high with the Sapien Bookshelf (available at Design Within Reach). It stores up to seventy books in what appears to be an unsupported stack and takes up just over one square foot of floor. Holy efficient use of space, Batman! Plus it looks super cool and is a nifty conversation piece.