Best of Book Storage at Home

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If there is one subject that is near and dear to my heart, it’s book storage. Even though I try to watch what I bring into my house, I make an exception for books. As a former librarian, I do make a point of checking what the library has before I pull the trigger, but in the last week alone, I’ve bought Love Customs in Eighteenth-Century Spain, The Festive Tradition: Table Decoration and Desserts in America, 1650-1900 and Now I Lay Me Down to Eat: Notes and Footnotes on the Lost Art of Living. And those are just the tip of the iceberg. I only buy decorative arts books that I know I’m going to use for reference or inspiration, but things spin quickly out of control. There’s a book coming out on Marella Agnelli? That goes on the wish list! You can see my problem, but I’m of the opinion that well-loved books make the best decoration in any home. So, book storage is important. You can see my own book solution below, but I’m always looking for other options.  -Amy

See many more book storage options in our Best of Book Storage.

Image above: Dream bookshelves in the Brooklyn home of Fitzhugh Karol, a woodworker and sculptor, and Lyndsay Caleo, who say that they are constantly rearranging the collections on these shelves.

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Image above: These are the bookshelves in my Williamsburg apartment. I turned my ugly brown Billy bookcases into beautiful built-ins following instructions from Little Green Notebook. (Note: Painting IKEA furniture is not fun. It took many, many coats to turn those brown bookcases white!)

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Image above: The library in this New York City apartment was created using metal garage shelves.

See more book storage options after the jump!

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Image above: Paula Kilpatrick made a bookshelf in her country house in Heathcote, Australia using ladders from Mexico that she found at Market Import in Melbourne. The shelves were all whitewashed except for one, which is painted in Dulux “Sunny Days.”

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Image above: The boxes at the end of Ann Ueno’s bedroom in Chicago serve as seating and a place to stash bedtime reading.

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Image above: The floating desk in the center of the bookshelves in this living room in New York City’s West Village was found at Brimfield Antique Market.

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Image above: Prop stylist Kara Rosenlund keeps her collection of cook books, art books and reference books piled high on an old gardener’s bench in her Queensland, Australia cottage.

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Image above: Australian Stylist Sibella Court had her set builder make floor-to-ceiling shelves that are based on the shelves from a glass library existing in a Venetian mosaic school. Nothing is level or too precise. This rolling ladder is from the Putnam ladder company that was in New York.

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Image above: Whitney Leigh Morris lives in a tiny 362-square-foot cottage in Venice Beach, so she designed this bedroom to maximize every inch of space.

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Image above: The shelving and ladder system – that are the centerpiece of this living room in this home in Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon – were hand-built by homeowner Derek James to house his huge record collection.

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Image above: These hanging shelves are from IKEA and spray painted yellow for a more modern look in textile designer Maryanne Moodie’s Brooklyn home.

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Image above: In this Upper West dining room, the first large piece of artwork the couple bought together is framed by stacks of books.

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Image above: This old ladder was found in the attic of Kim Pearson’s home in Perth, she cleaned it up and brought it inside, where it now serves as a little bookshelf in the corner.

Colleen Welsch

This post is basically bookshelf porn and I love it. Who knew metal garage shelves could look so chic piled high with some color-coded books?

Jess

If I send a picture of another amazing set of shelves my father built for mother’s 50th birthday, would you consider featuring it here as an extra example? They’re spectacular.

Tamara White

I love how a home library collection can be a work of art, and so much personality is displayed by one’s favorite reads. Thanks for all of the creative storage ideas!

kayte

I have those same metal garage shelves and I heart them for book storage! They are the best bet for holding a lot of books without spending a fortune.

Jill Center

Always on the look-out for book storage ideas, and there are some delightful ones above. No so delightful: books stored above beds (or near potential guest beds). Writing this from the San Francisco Bay Area, with the Napa quake fresh in mind. Frankly, many parts of the country sit atop faults, so please be careful about precious books that could become projectiles.

MelBrandle

it may be the obsessive compulsive in me, but well organized books in a storage shelf just does things for me. Especially if there are bookeneds and odds and ends that lend character to the shelf. Every different person’s bookcase tells a different story and it’s so wonderful.

becky

Food for thought for my apartment, I am so in need of more space for my beloved books! Great post :)

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