There are plenty of reasons to steer clear of bookshelves. First and foremost because they gather a ton of dust, and secondly because it might clutter your room if you keep too many books in one place.
We’ve been looking for inspiration on how to store books without using a bookshelf, and below are some great ideas that we think work really well.
Be aware that some of these ideas are quite creative, and they might not offer the best long-term storage options.
If you’re looking for a solution suitable for long-term storage, we recommend that you get some of the best storage boxes for books in order to preserve them for years.
1. Sofa stash
Your sofa, armchairs, and other living room furniture offer a lot of underutilized space. The area below your sofa alone can easily store dozens of books, and you can organize them in neat rows if you have a lot of books.
You can also make use of boxes to give your books a bit of protection from dust and other things, while keeping the place neat and tidy.
2. Use your kitchen cupboards
Do you have a large selection of recipe books? These are more useful when they’re kept in your kitchen, instead of in your living room or basement.
Many kitchen cupboards have space on top, that isn’t usually utilized.
Gather your books on top of your kitchen cupboards in a neat row, and stand on a chair whenever you need to grab one of them.
This is a neat idea for those who lack storage space, and a great way to utilize any vacant space around the house.
In this case you can also benefit from putting your books in containers, if you want to keep them away from any steam or smoke inside your kitchen.
3. Store your books in your windowsills
Do you have fairly wide windowsills in your home? These could be great places to store your most used books temporarily, and if you want to protect them from any light, you can keep them in a box for protection.
Make sure your books are not placed in direct sunlight for the entire day, and never place them directly against the glass. Always store them at a little distance, to avoid any moisture transferring from the cold windows to your books.
4. Use a pile of books as a nightstand
Nightstands are sometimes expensive, and if you like to read, a nightstand would probably just be used to house books. There’s no need to spend money on furniture unnecessarily. Stack several books beside your bed instead.
Eight or nine thick books should give you a decent height. If they’re wide enough, they can easily support the weight of a nightlamp, and you can put your phone there as well. You’ll have the books you like to read at your fingertips, and you’ll save money by not getting an expensive nightstand.
5. Hobby room storage
You may have converted a section of your home to a small hobby shop. Some of your tools may already be organized on shelves,, but the area below those shelves may be open to innovation.
Keep all of your guides on woodworking, engine maintenance, and stained glass in this area. If necessary, the guides can be covered with a vinyl sheet to protect them from wood chips and dust.
Your main sewing room or weaving room could also offer small nooks. Keep manuals stacked in areas below or around your sewing machine. Your loom or other equipment may also already be built in a way that allows you to store several books in small spaces.
6. On-floor arrangements
If you have adequate floor space in any room, a small section could be used to create an artful display of your books.
Use a sketch pad to draw your layout. Your books can be stacked and used to create any shape that you wish. Consider basic shapes such as constellations, or even a single star.
If you don’t have enough books to do a complex design, consider something simple. Even a basic step arrangement such as stacks decreasing from nine to six books, can be an interesting focal point.
You can use props to enhance your collection. If you like art with found objects, such as driftwood, consider using a piece in your design. Metallic accessories that reflect light, and vases with low-maintenance greenery, also have a relaxing effect.
7. Bedtime stories
Children love bedtime stories, and it’s easier to reach for your child’s favorite when it’s right under their bed. This space can also be used to store their textbooks, coloring books, and more.
A daybed in your living room may be used in this way as well. Don’t forget the bed in your guest room. If all the storage space in a divan bed is not used for bed linens, a few books may also be stored there.
Books under the bed tend to accumulate dust easily. To avoid this problem, consider placing the books in a transparent plastic pouch first. Some come with a zip, making it easy for you to add or remove books as needed.
8. Toy box treasures
Children’s toy boxes are made from all types of sturdy materials, including wood and plastic. This makes them ideal for storing books that you may not want to put directly on the floor, or want to protect from pets.
Gearhungry has a list of some of the best toy boxes out there. Choose the ones with dimensions that are ideal for your space. Some even have trays, which can provide easy access to volumes that you refer to often.
If you have storage space in a humid, or oily area, such as a garage, consider using a large plastic bin with a cover. These are good for storing food, but they also come in handy with books that you want to protect. You’ll prevent mildew and rust from damaging the pages.
9. Create study corridors
Almost every home has at least one corridor. Some of these may be longer than others, but even a short space can easily store many books. The distance from the floor to the wall can seem endless when you’re cleaning or painting, but you can stack hundreds of books in it.
Some corridors can be fairly quiet. As kitchens and living rooms attract more activity, these can provide you with a good place to study. Install a good light, and compact but comfortable seat, and you could complete any academic work right there.