My Mom Owns a Bookstore. Here’s Her Genius $4 IKEA Hack for Displaying Books

published Oct 25, 2022
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Interior of children's bookstore, with picture books on display
Credit: Debra Rivera

I may be biased, but I think my mom owns one of the cutest bookstores I’ve ever seen. From the bespectacled bumblebee mascot to the cozy reading nooks, walking inside feels like stepping into a living room that just so happens to be overflowing with books and goods from local makers. 

Though she stocks a selection of titles for grown ups, it’s a children’s bookstore, so most are for readers from 0 to 18 years old. Since the beautifully illustrated covers are an essential part of picking out a book as a child (and, honestly, still a big driver in how I judge books, despite the adage not to), she has to get creative with how she displays them. And there’s one unexpected IKEA product she uses around the story in an ingenious way: bamboo plate racks. 

The OSTBIT bamboo plate holder, sold for $3.99 at everyone’s favorite Swedish superstore, may be perfect for storing lovely ceramic plates upright, but it is also ideal for exhibiting your favorite picture books. Even if you don’t run a children’s bookshop, the possibilities to repurpose this simple IKEA product for books are endless. Place one on your child’s nightstand with their favorite bedtime reads, so they’re always just in reach. Set one up in your own living room with your New Yorker collection so everyone knows how well-read you are, or your eclectic collection of zines or art books. 

Credit: Debra Rivera

Place one in your kitchen, even, but instead of plates place your cookbooks in it (though ones that are too thick won’t fit). I’m a big proponent of using the things you love around your home as decor, and books, with covers already designed to be visually pleasing, deserve to be seen for more than just their spines. And this $4 IKEA hack is a simple, resourceful way to give them their moment in the spotlight.