Read All About It: 10 Super Savvy Ways to Style Your Bookshelf

updated Jul 17, 2020
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(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Although the rise of e-books have saved many a-reader from hoarding their favorite texts, countless old-school bookworms are still stuck with the daunting task of storing them. That’s why a well-staged bookshelf can really be a game changer when you’re designing your home. Not only do they offer organizational direction—see also: color blocking, gallery style, backwards, etc.—the end result in its entirety is often greater than the sum of its parts (figuratively speaking, of course). So whether you’re an avid reader or just stuck with a slew from college, scroll ahead for some stylish ways to turn your personal library into an interior work of art.


Simply turn the spine of your book around for a neutral—but streamlined—display. It might make finding your favorite texts a tad bit harder, but it makes organizing (and showing them off) unexpectedly chic and easy!

(Image credit: Made by Girl)

Gallery Style

Who says you can’t judge a book by its cover? Not only do gallery walls look incredible, they also save you tons of much-needed storage space. Hang floor-to-ceiling floating shelves across the length of your wall and you’ll create the illusion of extra height while forging a sophisticated way to showcase your books and their covers. (via Made by Girl)

(Image credit: New York Times)

Closet Style

We’ve all heard of a walk-in closet, but what about a walk-in library? Let your wardrobe double as a home library by filling unused closet space with some well-placed publications—don’t forget a fun light fixture—and you’ll look simultaneously smart and design-savvy to all who see. (via The New York Times)

(Image credit: Elizabeth Backup)


Okay, we know this one is controversial, but we’re going to go out on a limb and say we love the idea of displaying books in an artful way, i.e. by color. Coordinate your book collection by spine color and you’ll create a colorful masterpiece that’s sure to brighten any room—no hammer and nails necessary.

(Image credit: Submitted by Jessica & Milo)


Breathe new life into a broken fireplace by using it for book storage. Heap them carefully by size or color inside your unused hearth and soon you’ll end up with scene that’s every bit as hot as a burning fire.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Ladder Style

Seems that owning a solid ladder can offer more than just help changing a light bulb. Strong steps easily double as staggered shelves, excellent for stacking heavy hardcovers and fragile paperbacks, alike. Want a similar style but lacking the ceiling height? Stepladders are equally efficient and also make awesome nightstands!

(Image credit: David Telford)

Wine Rack Style

While we’re pretty sure you’re already making good use of your apartment’s wine rack, that doesn’t mean you still can’t build upon its greatness! The top of a sturdy bottle grid is the perfect place to pile your beloved coffee table books and rack up some major cool points with your visitors.

(Image credit: Alysha Findley)

Floating Style

Few things look better against a bare wall than a floating shelf display. You can use anything from freestanding shelves to industrial pipe rods to achieve an equally ethereal effect for your own book while simultaneously creating loads of extra storage space.

Magazine Style

Looking for a cosmopolitan way to arrange your books that doesn’t require any unanticipated storage room? Mountable magazine racks work wonders in a small space and allow you show off your treasured hardbacks like a pro.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Greenhouse Style

What better way to camouflage your book collection than covering it up in houseplants? Turns out bookcases can double as some seriously stylish plant holders, meaning your home library can moonlight as a cool indoor nursery nook—sans the weekly watering duties!

Once you’ve got your book organizing squared away, have a little fun with adding personal decor touches. Here’s a quick video on how to do it.