6 Stylish Ways to Display Your Books If You’ve Run Out of Shelf Space

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)

If you like design, there’s a good chance you also like books—especially ones about interiors and art, which tend to be big. No matter the subject, books bring so much joy to a home—whether it’s by providing entertainment, education, or escape. And on a more superficial level, they add color and texture to a space to make it more visually rich and interesting too. So yeah, you’re probably going to have more than a few bookcases full of books, especially if you’ve been collecting since you were young. But what do you do when you run out of room? You pretty much get to stacking. These creative display ideas should give you some inspiration if you’re running low on shelf space.

Going vertical is the logical first step, and yes, there’s a bookshelf that can make this tedious process of stacking books up easier. It’s called the Sapien, and The Container Store has its own version.

But you could go rogue and set up your own column near a door opening or in a corner—somewhere that’s sort of out of the way of traffic flow in your space. Because boy, is this configuration tenuous! Books could topple at any second without the hidden shelf. But the visual impact is worth the risk.

Want a striking mantel display for basically little to no effort? Books! Go the stacks on stacks on stacks route here, and make sure you have them oriented in a couple of different directions for added interest. Putting bookends and a cool lamp in the mix will help too.

House Tour: Nicole & Aaron’s Paris-Inspired Loft (Image credit: Nicole Crowder)

There’s always the tucking your books under the coffee table, console or desk move too.

(Image credit: IKEA)

In this IKEA image, it appears that the books here are actually supporting the tabletop of this sawhorse style desk on one side. Unclear whether this would work outside of a studio photo shoot, but you could certainly try it. You might want to even it out by using four stacks of books in each of the corners. Just a thought.

(Image credit: Community Import)

In general, bedrooms are best left uncluttered, but you can sneak a few books in under a bench at the foot of your bed, as seen in this reader makeover. You could also potentially use a stable stack as a nightstand (or side table in a living room). And a little collection of books is a great way to style out a traditional bedside table.

Have you seen any other cool book display ideas? Most of these are great. Only issue with some of them is when you actually want to read or leaf-through a certain title, and you’re it’s at the bottom of the pile.