8 book storage ideas that'll make your bibliotheque look bougie AF

Think beyond the bookshelf

Dormify book storage hero with shelf, plastic crates, cherry disco ball
(Image credit: Dormify)

Looking for book storage ideas? Got enough copies of The Hunger Games, A Song of Ice and Fire, and, ahem, copies of Real Homes mag to fill a library?

Well, sit down because I've scoured a world of small apartment storage solutions for the best-looking and most functional options. From ladder shelves that are the height of interior design to cute colorful crates that have stacks of style. Flick through our book storage guide and be inspired to tidy up your literary collection.

Even if you've just invested in a bookshelf for your small space, these ideas are perfect for tiny homes and apartments, too. DW, girl, we've thought of everything.


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8 cute book storage ideas

1. Stack 'em up (it's free)

A brown bedroom with books stacked high on the floor

(Image credit: AA Modern Decor)

OK, this is totally lazy-girl-approved (and free). It involves zero monetary investment and takes minutes to do. Literally, just pile your best hard and paperbacks up. You can then use it as an impromptu table for coasters, plates of snacks, etc. This idea depicts a candle, but clumsy ol' me wouldn't trust myself, so I'd recreate it with a few faux LED candles from Lights4Fun on Amazon if you want to inject some ambiance.

2. Use a ladder frame shelf to add height

AA modern acrylic ladder frame shelf

(Image credit: AA Modern)

When it comes to book storage, one small apartment hack is to draw the eye upwards. I love this ladder frame shelf as it does *just* that. The acrylic home decor has the same benefits as glass in the sense that it's clear, reflects light, and oozes modern sophistication. BTW, it doesn't need to be acrylic. Wood and metal also do the same trick. In the words of Megan Trainor, "I made you look."

Want the exact one in the photo above? Get it from AA Modern Interiors with free worldwide shipping.

3. Store them in colorful crates

Urban Outfitters Felix Folding Storage Crate

(Image credit: UO)

Go to almost any organization-related article on Real Homes and the likelihood is that we'll be recommending these Felix Folding Storage Crates from Urban Outfitters. They come in eight different colors and three sizes. When they're not in use, they're collapsible. But I promise you, you'll be wanting to buy more books to fill these containers.

4. Splurge on bed or headboard with built-in storage

Ruby Layered Queen Storage Headboard

(Image credit: UO)

IDK about you, but a book before bed = a good night's sleep. It certainly beats all that blue light from my phone and iPad. Plus, there's no temptation to online shop in bed. That said, having book storage built into my bed sounds like a literal dream. But don't pinch yourself, because this bedroom furniture really *does* exist.

Oh, and would you look at that, the stylists at UO have also used the book storage hack when mentioned in #1.

5. Transform your hallway into a library

UO wooden console table with retro record player and books

(Image credit: UO)

We rarely think past shoe storage when it comes to hallways, but a console table can do wonders for transforming this otherwise impersonal space. Better still, they not only free up space in other rooms, but it will make your hallway look like an extension of the living room. Pair up with a painting or print on the opposite wall to take the space from practical to decorative.

If you're looking for small apartment solutions, choose something that can multitask, such as a bookcase that can also be used as a console table in the hallway. Store keys, gloves, and the dog leash in a box on top or in a drawer. 

6. Create a contemporary look with cube storage

Cube shelving is probably the most versatile of all book storage options. Easy to customize depending on your needs, cube storage is especially good for sorting books of different sizes. The most famous of them all is probably the Ikea Kallax shelving units, but I've popped a couple of other options for you below.

8. Mix book storage and decor on a bookshelf or display cabinet

Perhaps you don't have many books, or you like a more eclectic look — whatever the reason, we think books look great when mixed with decorative items in a display cabinet or locker. The less curated, the better, add prints, photos, plants just any random knick-knacks that you like the look of — maybe even pick a color scheme to keep it cohesive. 

Fancy something a li'l more lightweight that still maxes out on style? Bookcases can be very heavy, which is not ideal if you move a lot, or like reorganizing your living space on a regular basis. A metal mesh storage unit is easier to maneuver and will add a cool industrial element to your interior.

Are floating shelves good for books?

If you are after book storage that won't take up a lot of floor space or pop over a kitchen surface, or even a headboard, floating shelves are a great option. They take up minimal space but have a maximum effect. They are also really easy to install yourself (just read our step-by-step guide to putting up a shelf) plus, your books are always easy to locate and super accessible.

Style tip: If you want a streamlined, laid-back look for your rooms, try this Scandi-inspired idea. Choose book storage that will blend with your existing interior rather than make a dominant style statement on your walls. Possess plenty of matching, pale-colored books to display alongside pretty artwork and objects? All the better.

Christina Chrysostomou
Former acting head ecommerce editor

Hi, I'm the former acting head ecommerce editor at Real Homes. Prior to working for the Future plc family, I've worked on a number of consumer events including the Ideal Home Show, Grand Designs Live, and Good Homes Magazine. With a first class degree from Keele University, and a plethora of experience in digital marketing, editorial, and social media, I have an eye for what should be in your shopping basket and have gone through the internal customer advisor accreditation process.