How to Store Books When You Run Out of Shelf Space

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Posted on February 9, 2017

Any real bibliophile will tell you that the feeling of physical books is part of the appeal. We all have a few piles laying around that we’ll probably never get to reading, but we just can’t stay out of the bookstores or off Amazon. Surrounding yourself with books is one of the great joys of a reader’s life, but when your books start to take over your home, when your loved ones start to complain, or the perilous piles are threatening bodily harm, you know it’s time to come up with a new storage solution.


What Should You Keep?


Your first consideration should be if you need to keep all these books. Think about why you are keeping them. Do they make you feel safe? Remind you of good times? Are they an important part of the aesthetic of your house or apartment? Knowing why you are keeping them might help you let some go. You might consider donating or selling the ones you’ve already read that aren’t favorites.


Check out the Minimalists’ post on how to let go of sentimental items.


Consider an E-Reader

kindle app


If you’re a person who has an extensive physical book collection, it’s likely that you have strong feelings on e-readers, but take a good look around your home. Consider using an e-reader for that all important first read through of a book before you buy it. In fact, that is a great strategy to adopt. There’s no reason to buy a book if you don’t think you’ll ever read it again. Why not try your local library’s e-reader lending app and read a book first, then decide if you want to own it?


Built-in Shelving

If you’re completely set on keeping all the books you can lay your hands on in your home, consider adding in some built-in shelving units. Built-in shelves can often be placed in unexpected, and therefore space saving areas, that a traditional bookcase couldn’t fit in. They can often be built to the specificities of your home by a local carpenter, and the visual value they add to a home will almost certainly outweigh the actual cost of the construction.


Storage Solutions



Perhaps you’re renting an apartment, so a built-in is not an option, or you already have built-ins and still not enough space! According to Hileah Storage Units, many people store books in the attic or basement, but these are terrible ideas, often for different reasons. Basements and attics can both get wet, causing the paper to soak up water and swell. Books stored in an attic can quickly become nesting materials for pests. If you need to store books, you may consider obtaining a storage unit. Storage units are clean, dry, temperature controlled and available to you anytime you absolutely have to find your college copy of Wuthering Heights.


Whether you decide to part with some of your books for good, hire a carpenter or store them in a storage space until the perfect home for them comes along, we hope this helped you figure out what to do with your volumes of books.