This TikTok Bookshelf Hack Is Perfect for Bibliophiles in Small Spaces

published Oct 30, 2023
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Credit: Liz Calka

If you’re like me, you never quite feel at home in a new space until you’ve unpacked your books. I consider my collection of Sylvia Plath’s Letters Home, Mary Karr’s trio of memoirs, and Frank O’Hara’s collection of poems my most prized possessions. It doesn’t matter that these books are replaceable and only cost a few bucks each; they mean everything to me. 

I should also probably mention that I live in a studio apartment, so my books flood out of just about every surface of my apartment. There are some stored in the entryway, some lined on top of my dresser, and some stacked underneath my desk in the built-in shelves on the side of it. 

So when I heard about this TikTok hack from @strawberrymoss that was literally invented for book-lovers who live in small spaces, I knew I had to check it out. 

Basically, @strawberrymoss upcycled something you probably already have in your recycle bin: egg cartons. Most shelves are wide enough to accommodate multiple layers of stacked books. The trouble is, you’re typically only able to see the books that you have displayed right at the front edge of the shelves. That’s where this hack comes in. 

Grab your egg cartons and slide them back at the far edge of the bookshelf that’s away from you. You can use whichever size egg carton fits the space. In this video, two half-dozen cartons are used. From there, just stack your books vertically on top of the egg cartons as you normally would on the shelf itself. Because you’ve added a bit of height to your books with the cartons, you can now see the titles of all of your books with ease. No more unloading the entire shelf (IYKYK) to get to the one title you’re after. 

Although this hack is ideal for small shelves in small spaces, it can definitely work in any size shelf to double your space and book-viewing pleasure. Thanks, TikTok!