By Lindsay Slattery
If you’re looking to add a little bit of literary flair to your living room, bedroom, or office, then maybe it’s time to store your books in a whole new way. Sure, a classic stained oak bookcase is a beautiful way to put your favorites on display. However, if you’re someone who’s crazy about reading, why not make your passion the theme of the room? There are a few unique ways you can safely store your books while proudly presenting them at the same time.
It’s time to think outside the box, or rather, outside the case. Which of these following methods you should utilize will depend on your organizational style and the space where you’re storing them. For example, books on surfaces where beverages are frequently placed is obviously a recipe for disaster. Alternatively, books at eye level in a room where you frequently host guests will attract attention while simultaneously keeping your paperbacks safe.
With a little common sense and inexpensive hardware, you’ll be able to optimize your collection’s charm and turn it into a topic of conversation. Just try doing that with an e-reader.
In any situation, shelving is good way to optimize storage space. When it comes to storing books, installing a wall-mounted shelf also gives you the option to display all or part of your collection where guests are more likely to see it. Additionally, keeping your more fragile books up high will keep them out of the reach of small children and pets.
You can go big or small with bookshelves, turning entire adjacent walls into a library or staggering a few standalone shelves throughout the room. In either case, you can also use this space to break up your books with other accents such as vases or houseplants. This is an effective way to bulk up the appearance of a book collection that you’re still working on.
This is a good solution for someone who wants to decorate but is apprehensive about wall mounting in a rented space. Baskets are cheap and adorable and will fit into small spaces. Buy a few baskets of varying sizes and colors that complement the room or keep them uniform. You can keep them in corners of the room, under a desk or coffee table, or on unoccupied surfaces.
This option, of course, isn’t only limited to woven baskets. Wire bins, seat boxes, and caddies are all suitable containers for books. Also, if protecting your books is more important to you then displaying them, consider using an ottoman. This way you can stow away your books and then put your feet up, resting assured that they’re safe and sound.
3. Stacked/Strewn About
If you really want to give the room a reading-cave vibe, consider storing your books in miscellaneous (or strategically placed) stacks around the room. This method may not be practical for some, as it’s more of a rejection of storage than anything. If you have pets, young children, or roommates who tend to spill their drinks often, this might not be right for you.
However, if you’re not worried about your books sustaining damage, this is the perfect way to emphasize your pride in your collection. If you like this idea but are hesitant to lay your precious literature out in the open, utilize low- activity surfaces such as side tables. These can be designated as beverage- free zones for your stacks of books or magazines.
4. Bookends (Anywhere)
Sure, bookends can be used to hold books in place on a bookcase or bookshelf. However, they also provide you with the opportunity to store your books wherever you want, whether it be on the coffee table, in your entertainment center, or along a wall on the floor.
Perhaps the coolest thing about bookends is the sheer variety of them available. They come in all sorts of different styles, colors, and, believe it or not, animals. For example, try the ancient Chinese foo dog. Or, if you dare, see how your favorites look wedged between two brass elephant trunks or quartered tree stumps. Endless inexpensive and customizable options are available online or at your local home goods store to match and improve your current décor.
If you have a large, under-utilized windowsill that functions mostly as a landing space for clutter, why not turn it into a literary paradise? Many windowsills, especially in living rooms, are broad, flat, and perfect makeshift bookshelves. Also, where better to read then in a cozy nook by the window?
Speaking of which, take this opportunity to transform the space surrounding the windowsill. Add a comfy chair, an ottoman, and a small side table with a decorative lamp and voila! You’ve just carved out the perfect area to sip your morning coffee while you relax with a book.
One word of warning: make sure you don’t line your books against a window that will leak in the event of bad weather. This could lead to water retention, which could lead to moldy books. No thank you.
If you have the proper space to utilize one or more of these ideas, why not try it out? Your favorite books don’t have to just live in the back of your mind. Instead, make them the forefront of your décor and notice how they instantly improve the atmosphere of your home. What a novel idea!
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