I am winning the battle against clutter. Okay, not winning, but, after 33 years of struggle, I’m definitely putting up a good fight. One notable exception: books. At any given time, I will always have more books than I can possibly read in my lifetime, and certainly more than I can squeeze onto my meager shelves. If you, too, are a frustrated book lover living in a frustratingly small apartment, perhaps you will appreciate some of these strategies for fitting in just a few more.
Above: One option, as seen on Decor Dots, is just to pick a wall and start piling books against it. It’s a very casual look, and not for everyone, but I think this has a certain informal charm. Plus, you can place lamps or objets d’art on the tops of the stacks.
If you have a console table, or even a coffee table, you can create stacks of books underneath. Bonus points if the wall behind is a striking jewel tone that sets off all those spines, as in this photo from Anne-Sophie Pailleret.
In this colorful Denver home, a little sliver of wall that would be far too small for any kind of furniture is repurposed as a book stacking spot.
Vertical bookcases, like this one seen on Elle Decoration Sweden, are one of my favorite small-space book storage solutions. A vertical bookcase can also double as a nightstand in a pinch: just use one of the shelves for your phone/glass of water/midnight reading.
From Domino: if it doesn’t seem too Farenheit 451 to you, you can fit books into a non-functioning fireplace.
In this image from Marie Claire Maison, an extra-wide hallway becomes a library with a bench piled high (and low) with books and magazines. (The advantage of the bench approach over a traditional bookcase is that you can place art above, and it doesn’t visually crowd the space.)
In this bedroom from Charlotte Minty Interior Design, wall-mounted shelves help to take advantage of a short wall.
Stacks of books or magazines can tuck neatly under a desk (as seen in this home from Elle), provided the desk is deep enough, or you don’t mind not being able to stretch your legs.
Books in the bathroom may seem weird, but I’m not afraid to admit that that’s where I do most of my reading. (In the tub, not on the toilet! Okay, maybe sometimes there, too.) In this little bathroom from Alvhem, the homeowners have found room for a few more books in the most ingenious and unlikely of spaces: above the toilet. (Note that this is better suited to a powder room where there is nowhere near as much moisture as in a three or four piece bathroom.)