Book Fetish

Book Storage for Small Spaces: 11 Creative Solutions

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Kate Krug


Kate is a 2011 Drake University grad, where she received her BA in magazine journalism. A hopeless romantic with a cynical heart, Kate will read anything that comes with a content warning, a love triangle, and a major plot twist. Twitter: @katekrug Blog:

As readers, it can be a constant struggle to find space to store our book collections. And if you’re in a smaller space (or your books are housed in a smaller room) it can be difficult to make the best use of the space, or to find book storage solutions for small spaces that actually work. There is also the challenge of filling a small space but not making it look overwhelming or cramped.

Personal taste plays a factor as well. At my previous apartment, I had zero space (and no money) for shelves, so I just stacked books until the piles were swaying and it was impossible to take books out if I wanted to. I had friends who visited who hated the look. I kind of appreciated the aesthetic.

We know some tried and true design secrets help to open smaller spaces: Tall and narrow shelving is always a good bet. Finding ways to incorporate storage into more objects or established fixtures, such as ceiling space or turning hallways into bookshelf walls. Taking advantage of small nooks and crannies to DIY unique shelves that fit.

So let’s talk solutions. This article is all about easy shelving or storage solutions that can be easily purchased or assembled. Not mentioned here are larger design projects such as building shelves into a staircase, under the bed, or in an unused fireplace. There are some related articles linked at the end of this list that can help if you are interested in a bigger design project. Onto the best book storage for small spaces ideas!

Rotating Bookshelf

White rotating bookshelf

Maximize a small space with a bookshelf that allows 360-degree storage! These bookshelves come in various sizes and can be used for anything from larger textbooks to children’s books to comics and graphic novels. Pictured is Nisorpa’s version, $196.

Double-Sided Hanging Bookshelf

Photo of Hanging Bookshelf

Another way to maximize your shelf space is to take advantage of both “sides” of the shelf. These hanging shelves from Etsy have elastic loops on the underside to hold individual books and the top space can also be utilized. $93

Corner Shelves

Photo of a white corner bookshelf

Have you ever had a room or apartment that randomly had a weird corner that jutted out or had to allow for an AC unit? Corner bookshelves are great for filling and making use of these awkward spaces. $120

Tabletop Bookstand

Photo of a brown wooden tabletop bookstand

These tabletop bookstands are great for displaying multiple cookbooks at once and help to open up precious tabletop space. $49

Bedside Shelf

Bedside bookshelf

To make a bedside table, use attachable shelves that hook onto your bed frame to give some extra space for book storage, drinks, and more. $35

Tall, Narrow Shelving Unit

Photo of a tall, thin bookshelf

With a total width of 7 inches, these four-decker shelves are the perfect size for displaying your favorite reads. These shelves come in a variety of colors and are super easy to move around. $190

Transparent Furniture Pieces

Photo of a clear, acrylic side table holding books

These clear, acrylic side tables help give the illusion of empty space while simultaneously adding opportunities to display and store your books. $168

Floating Wall Shelves

Photo of floating bookshelves on a wall

When you run out of shelf space, create new book stacks with floating mounted shelves. You can also create an illusion of ceiling-high stacks by strategically placing the shelves on walls! $76 for a four-pack.

Room Divider Shelves

Brown bookshelf used as a room divider in a small apartment

For studio apartments or adding some separation between different spaces, consider using a bookshelf as a room divider. It saves space vs. having the bookshelf flat against the wall and adds interest to your room. $120

Under-the-Bed Storage

Photo of a black book basket that has different romance tropes written on the front

Maybe not ideal for displaying, but taking advantage of the under-the-bed storage can help open up shelf space for books you want to show off. But these book baskets are so cute, we understand if you can’t bear to keep them hidden. $19

Corner Bookshelf

Photo of gray corner bookshelf

Corner bookshelves are ideal for minimizing wall space and taking advantage of an area that can be difficult to style. $53