Fresh Ideas for Showing Off Your Book Collection

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: @stylizimoblog)

Although you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you can definitely appreciate its presentation. Along with keeping all of your favorite texts organized (and at arm’s length), a well-styled home library can often become an artful centerpiece inside your home; so it pays to come up with thoughtful ideas for book storage. To prove the point, I gathered some cool, contemporary book displays to share for inspiration. From end-of-bed bookcases to wall-mounted picture ledges, here are some stylish ways to show off your personal book collection and make a decorative statement.

Organize art books like art

If you weren’t already privy to the perks of picture ledges, now’s the time to smarten up. Not only are they inexpensive and easy to install, wall-mounted ledges are a sleek way to store your books gallery-style—and show off their artful covers. If you like the super intentional look, try organizing by a color scheme that matches your home; the black and white combo shown above from Stylizimo’s Instagram is super high contrast and chic. (She’s since painted it grey if you’d like to see how that looks.)

(Image credit: A Beautiful Mess)

Got a dead corner? Fill it with books!

Who knew a small corner inside your apartment could offer so much storage opportunity? Whether comprised of floating shelves, a pair of bookcases, or an adjustable shelving system like the one here from A Beautiful Mess, corner libraries look spectacular and save you tons of floor space.

(Image credit: Nicole Crowder | Apartment Therapy)

Just stack them.

Why invest in a bulky bookcase when going shelf-less looks so chic? Whether they’re stacked short or tall, horizontally or vertically, on a chair or under the table—a well-placed pile of books, like that in Nicole and Aaron’s Paris-Inspired Loft looks effortlessly pretty and doesn’t cost a thing.

(Image credit: Live Simply by Annie)

Go incognito

If you absolutely must have a bookshelf, consider a concealed, floating one for an unexpectedly suave storage solution. Along with being affordable and wall-mountable (so they won’t occupy any of your coveted floor space), invisible bookshelves will instantly transform your home library (even if that’s just in your bedroom like Live Simply by Annie‘s space shown here) into a clean-lined book display.

(Image credit: Little Vintage Nest)

Mount wall baskets

Looking for a sophisticated way to show off your books that won’t take up any floor space? Wall-mounted baskets and magazine racks provide a surprising amount of storage space and don’t sacrifice an inch of style. Here, Little Vintage Nest created a reading corner with them, complete with teeny rocky chair.

(Image credit: Lucy Call)

Love books? Love your bed? Put them together

What better way to keep your most beloved books at arm’s length than organizing them at the end of your bed? That’s what Lucy Call did in this simple room lacking in wall space. Not only will it offer up some unexpected storage space—and maybe even a tabletop or place to sit—a short bookcase at the end of your bed frame creates a rather cosmopolitan book display.

(Image credit: SF Girl by Bay)

Color code

While some might scoff at the thought of books being used for decor, color-blocking is a design trend that endures for a reason. Along with offering foolproof guidance for organizing your collection, coordinating your spines by color can turn your cherished books into an eye-catching centerpiece. Come on, you know this book display on SF Girl by Bay is stunning…don’t deny it!

(Image credit: Molly Sims)

Let your bookcase be your style guide.

There are few things a fresh coat of paint can’t fix, and a boring bookcase is no exception. A sunny hue like the yellow Molly Sims used here can transform even the drabbest of bookshelves into something warm and stylish, so feel free to let your imagination run wild with all the paint color possibilities.

(Image credit: Home Polish)

Turn them around.

I know this one is controversial, but for as impractical as turning the spines of your book around may seem, it sure is memorable. For a more streamlined, inside-out display, try stacking your books backwards by height (as seen here from Home Polish) so you can still see a sliver of their covers.