Book Fetish

Make It Work With These Bookshelves for Small Spaces

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I’m lucky to live in a house big enough for a few bookshelves scattered throughout, but that hasn’t always been the case. I remember my very first apartment in Austin, where I slept, watched TV, and cooked in the same space, with no walls to separate any of those places. There was a small built-in set of shelves near the front door of that studio apartment, but those had to operate not only for my books, but also every other thing I needed to put somewhere that didn’t neatly fit into the closet, kitchen cabinets, or under the futon (which, of course, was the bed). That space and subsequent rentals made me really understand the power of utilizing space to keep my books somewhere safe and out of the way. But in the 10+ years since then, as reading has become a more widely discussed, appreciated, and, yes, aesthetic choice in one’s space, more and more companies and creators have developed excellent bookshelves for small spaces.

Anyone in a small space knows one of the keys to maximizing space is to go vertical. Use height to your advantage and if, like me, you’re short, invest in a step stool you can fold up and slide into an inconspicuous space. Use your corners and your wall space to keep your favorite books off the floor or your table or your kitchen counter-that-also-serves-as-your-table. Get inspired with these bookshelves for small spaces to either purchase some great furniture and storage solutions or to create your own with your skills and talents.

“Small space,” is, of course, in the eyes of the beholder. Some of these bookshelves will seem quite large for some small spaces while others might feel tiny and not entirely useful for holding many books. But whether you’re a strict minimalist or lean into maximalism, there’s something here for you and your space.

Prices run the gamut from inexpensive to serious investments.

Make It Work With These Bookshelves for Small Spaces

Utilize the corners of your space, especially some of the weirder ones, with a corner bookshelf like this. $290.

Only a little more than a foot wide, this tall bookshelf makes use of vertical space for you to house all of your favorite tomes. $259.

These floating bookshelves not only make use of wall space, but they’re made of reclaimed wood, so you can feel good about this purchase as well. $45 and up.

If you have a flat surface in your small space where you can add something, this tree-inspired bookshelf is a creative way to store some of your books. $65 and up.

A little over 10 inches wide, this reclaimed wood bookshelf has a visually appealing design and makes use of vertical space quite nicely. $84.

You may only be able to hold eight books with this, but how cool is this magnetic floating bookshelf? Perfect for small spaces—and imagine how a bunch of these would look all around your place. $54.

This may require a little more space—the widest part of this tree bookshelf is about 15 inches—but it’s sure a visual treat and would store a good number of books. $90, with some color choices.

These corner shelves, which come with cute little drawers perfect for your bookish ephemera, can stack on the floor or hang up and not only use up corner space, but also wall space. Clever! $159.

A tetris bookshelf for small spaces! This one measures only about 14 inches wide, but it’s nice and tall. If you have more space available, you can turn it on its side for a wider shelf, too. $284.

How incredible is this corner bookshelf unit, featuring a place to sit, two sets of shelves, and a shelf beneath the seat? You can customize your dimensions here, giving you an opportunity to make this fit your small space. $1300.

Maybe you want your bookshelves to also double as abstract art. In that case, this corner shelf will serve you well. $30 and up.

This set of shifting shelves you hang on your wall is so eye-catching. $215.

I love this tree branch shelf. $323.

This is such an innovative solution to bookshelves in small spaces: a peg board! You can move and adjust your shelves however you need to and use wall space you have available to you. $295.

Love the swoopy design of this metal wall bookshelf. $200.

Snap up a set of wall cubes like these—with tons of color options—and make space on any wall in your home to shelve books. $500 for six.

I am super into the color of this tiered corner shelf! $100.

Go to basics with this tall and narrow shelf, available in black or white. $84.

Last, but not least, another take on the corner bookshelf. I dig the rounded edges here. $185.

Need more inspiration for your small space? These are some excellent ideas for book storage in small spaces, how to have a lot of books in a small apartment, and reading nooks no matter what size space you have.