9 Book Storage Ideas for a Stylish Reading Nook or Home Library

dining room with book storage under a long bench
Elizabeth Roberts

If there's one thing we'll never stop collecting, it's books. But as any avid reader knows, this habit can get messy pretty quickly. One book turns into a small pile, and then that pile turns into several precariously leaning towers. And this is especially true for anyone whose collection of books far exceeds the square footage of their home. The solution lies in stylish organization tricks and clever storage ideas that allow you to keep your home library nice and tidy.

As such, we scoured the web for chic and resourceful book storage ideas for spaces big and small. To make sure your reading nook actually feel like the magical, distraction-free oasis it's supposed to be, scroll through the book storage ideas below and shop the décor items and furniture fixes that'll make it even easier to beautify your shelves, plus a few reading recommendations along the way as a reward. Now let's head to the stacks.

The Book Storage Idea: Get Decorative

Library with sofa and books in built-in shelves with decor
JH Interior Design

If you're lucky enough to have built-in shelving, get creative with the ways you display your books. Break things up with stylish bookends, framed photos, and metallic décor for some extra shine. These small touches will make your bookshelves look even more personalized and special.

Crystal glass bookend
CB2 Crystal Glass Bookend $40

The Book to Store Here: To match the antique vibes of this geometric décor accent, pick up a copy of The Waves by Virginia Woolf. It's experimental, philosophical, and deeply introspective while still being a classic.

The Book Storage Idea: Think Floor-to-Ceiling

a kitchen with floor to ceiling book shelves
Elizabeth Roberts

When you've run out of room in the living room and bedroom but happen to have plenty of usable space in the kitchen, don't second-guess whether it's the right environment for your books. Though a study or a cozy nook may seem like the obvious choice for your books, this is actually a great way to add dimension to the kitchen and dining rooms. Tuck them away in cupboards and cabinets or put them on display. And if you have high ceilings like this room, consider using a wall unit that extends to the sky.

West Elm Reclaimed Pine + Iron Bookcase
West Elm Reclaimed Pine + Iron Bookcase $1,349

The Book to Store Here: Artful, structural, simple sophistication like this storage unit calls for something equally cool. We recommend Lunch Poems by John O'Hara. It's unique, poignant, and experimental in style yet keeps things simple and gets right to the point. 

The Book Storage Idea: Stay Grounded

A dining room with book storage under a long bench.
Elizabeth Roberts

When you want to keep your wall space designated for artwork and windows, opt for low-to-the-ground storage instead. We love how this room uses a bench to optimize comfort and keep things nice and neat. Place a cushion on it or get it upholstered for a cozier feel, and then stack your books and shoes inside the cubbies.

Livingston Entry Bench in Gray Wash
Pottery Barn Livingston Entryway Bench $699 $489

The Book to Store Here: Painted in a gray wash for a weathered look, this chic and classic bench calls for refined and moody accents. And with that in mind, there's nothing more fitting than William Faulkner's Southern Gothic masterpiece Absalom, Absalom!

The Book Storage Idea: Just Float

A hidden bookshelf

If you're a fan of a more laid-back aesthetic but still need to clean up your organization act, a hidden bookshelf will save the day. It will help you achieve a similar effortlessly elegant vibe that you'd get from a tall stack of books but without the risk of knocking it down every time you want to grab an old book. 

Design Within Reach Story Bookcase
Design Within Reach Story Bookcase $295

The Book to Store Here: Compact and discretely playful, we're feeling short stories for this bookcase. For something whimsical and surreal yet easy to breeze through, pick up a copy of The Debutante and Other Stories by Leonora Carrington.

The Book Storage Idea: Magazine Rack Love

A living room with a wall of books and a magazine rack next to an arm chair
Fantastic Frank

Never underestimate the power of a magazine rack, both in terms of organization and style. This is especially true for any of us lazier folk who usually consider "tidying up" to mean "throw everything in there before the guests arrive." Though it probably won't hold every book you've ever owned, it'll make a nice home for a few favorites you like to keep by your armchair for easy access. 

AYTM Curva Magazine Holder
AYTM Curva Magazine Holder $202

The Book to Store Here: Honor this curvy and endlessly chic magazine rack with something by Joan Didion. For fiction, we suggest Play It as It Lays. It's straightforward and simple yet evocative of so much more. For nonfiction, pick up Slouching Towards Bethlehem.

The Book Storage Idea: Display Art

Book shelves broken up with graphic art
BHDM Design

So you're looking for a way to spice up your library of books with less-than-exciting spines? If you have a lengthy collection of encyclopedias, dictionaries, and more, add some dimension to your bookshelves with graphic artwork. Keep things consistent for a tailored look or get eclectic and have fun with it. 

Number 17 by Marleigh Culver
Marleigh Culver Number 17 $140

The Book to Store Here: Give this bold and colorful painting a compatible book companion with a copy of Gabriel García Márquez's seminal piece, 100 Years of Solitude. What could be more fitting than a healthy dose of magical realism? 

The Book Storage Idea: Use the Walls

Floating shelves in a living room.
Jean Charles Tomas

No matter how many nooks and crannies you utilize, sometimes there just isn't enough room to store all your books. But that doesn't mean your belongings have to be strewn about your furniture and floors. Instead, think about ways to use your walls and ceilings to make your living room feel larger and more organized. For something both stylish and functional, install a few floating shelves above a sofa, console table, or even your bed. 

Cost Plus World Market Round Wood and Metal Mateo Wall Storage: Silver by World Market
Cost Plus World Market Round Wood And Metal Mateo Wall Storage $100

The Book to Store Here: Honor the art deco design of this curvy wall shelf unit by stepping into an F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel. Opt for something classic like The Great Gatsby or Tender Is the Night, or pick up the posthumously published The Love of the Last Tycoon.

The Book Storage Idea: Repurpose Furniture

Furniture used to store books
Fantastic Frank

Bookworms on a budget or in a cramped space, this one is for you. Get creative and use the furniture you already have. For example, sliding a side chair or a handy side table next to your bed can help you prevent your books from collecting dust as they pile up on the floor. And even if this isn't where you decide to store all your books, a makeshift side table can be a cool, unexpected place to store your current read next to the bed.

CB2 Spin Rotating Side Table
CB2 Spin Rotating Side Table $399

The Book to Store Here: Maximize function with a rotating top shelf and extra drawer storage. Break-in this slightly complex, roomy side table with Brief Interviews With Hideous Men. It won't take up as much space as David Foster Wallace's other epic books, like Infinite Jest, but it will inspire you as much.

The Book Storage Idea: Mix in Serveware

Books stored with kitchen items
Liljencrantz Design

When it comes to storing your cookbooks, floating shelves in the kitchen are the way to go. This way, you won't be taking up valuable storage space in the cabinets and on the surfaces, where your cookware takes priority. Plus, they'll be super easy to grab while you're mid-recipe. You can also give them a heightened sense of place by mixing some of your favorite service-ware pieces into the display, too. For example, the matte black vases and bowls in the minimalist kitchen above. 

CB2 Acrylic Storage Shelf
CB2 Acrylic Storage Shelf $70

The Book to Store Here: To end our home library tour of stylish book storage ideas, here's something modern, understated, and very much on point. To reflect those qualities, read Too Much and Not the Mood, a beautiful collection of essays by Durga Chew-Bose.

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