7 clever ways to display books in your home

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It’s incredibly easy to get overrun with books, especially when you haven’t yet practiced the KonMari method of cleaning, which dedicates an entire section to tidying up your library. 

Even when you do find the time to slim down your book selection, there can still be so many that you just need to keep, but don’t want to hide away on a shelf. To help you have a bit more fun with the process, we’ve got some suggestions for how you can try something a little different.

In our 7 clever ways to display books in your home, we take your treasured collection and suggest wonderful solutions for how to make owning them less of a hassle and more of an artistic contribution to your home. 

Whether it’s important textbooks, childhood classics, or novels you can’t part with because you just haven’t found the time to read them yet (believe us, we know there’s never enough time for reading), you’ll be able to celebrate their presence in your home in a much more creative way. Here are 7 clever ways to display books in your home. 

1. Stack them 

Stacked books

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Stacking your books is a great way of displaying them in even the smallest of spaces. Anywhere from your coffee table, to your windowsill, the trick is to make the book stack look natural rather than focusing on arranging by size. So, whilst the space maybe be small, that doesn’t mean you have to prop them formally in one corner. 

Have fun with it. Let the books fall as they may. You can even try lining them up underneath your window sill or in low foot traffic areas of your home to add a different aesthetic.

2. Arrange them by color

Color coded bookshelf

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An incredibly popular and aesthetically pleasing way of displaying your books is to order them by color. You can have the blue spines together, green together, yellow together, and so on and so forth. This would depend on how many books you may be able to group in certain colorations, but once they’re all partnered up with their like-colored friends, you’ll have an innovatively organized collection. 

If you’re not completely comfortable with what each of your books looks like, you may want to opt for another choice on the list as it’ll make finding a certain title a little harder. If you’re looking to add even more vibrancy and style to your room, why not follow the rules of the rainbow? Plus, if you want to add another level to this book storage idea, you can accessorize with decorative objects of the same color, like a plant pot, candlestick, or artwork.

3. Floating bookshelves

Floating bookshelf

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To simply explain a floating bookshelf, it’s a shelf where all of the fixings are hidden within the shelf itself, meaning it can appear like your books will be floating as you can’t see how it attaches to the wall. There’s a lot you can do with a floating bookshelf, depending on what space you have on offer and how many books you have to display. You can double, triple, quadruple up, disperse around your home, and rotate the books on the shelves to mix up the style of each room they appear in. 

If you want the true floating effect, you can add just a singular plank of wood, acrylic, glass, metal, or MDF, which are all fantastic materials for propping your books atop. Acrylic and glass especially create a see-through effect that can be enjoyed. Plus, you can use the first two suggestions on our list here to mix up the way you display your books, perhaps stacking or arranging them by color would add something new to your room. 

4. Books on your sideboard

Books on your sideboard

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A sideboard is most commonly used for displaying or storing your kitchen supplies or special decorative items around your home, but why not books? A sideboard can offer a flat-lay showcase of your books, as opposed the spines outwards of your bookcase, as the much thinner shelves wouldn’t allow you to place them any other way. 

So, you’ll be placing your books frontwards, meaning you can instead display their beautiful cover art rather than just the spine and it may even encourage you to add books to your collection specifically for their cover. If you have a collection of books you’re particularly proud of, this is a great way to show them off as a whole rather than just by matching author. 

5. Create a reading nook 

Reading nook

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If there’s a cozy little space in your home that you envision for your reading time, turning it into a nook can be a perfect place to display your books however you choose. Instead of just a pocket of your home being utilized to display books, if you’re very passionate about your book collection and have even the smallest corner of your home available to dedicate to books, then you can create this reading nook. 

Simply place in a chair, cushions, blankets, or anything you’d be happy to sit in to read and line your books up, either on shelves, a bookcase, stacked up, or along a windowsill if the space allows. This is a wonderful opportunity to have fun with your books and create a space just for them, and whoever wants to read them in your home.

6. Up or under the stairs

Up or under the stairs

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The stairs can sometimes be a bit of a dead space in your home in terms of creativity and design. You can, of course, line artwork up the walls, but the actual stairs are dedicated to functionality. Plus, under it can end up becoming a bit of a dumping ground or cupboard under the stairs where items in your home go to hide. 

If your stairs are wide enough, you can create little stacks of books on each stair. If there’s space under your stairs, you could create a cupboard that acts as a tiny, home bookshop with small shelves around the edges. Or, you could even create your reading nook there, depending on the space available. 

7. Make a book trolley

Storage trolley

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Finally, a really lovely idea for transferring your book collection display to different rooms in your home is by creating a book trolley. However big or small you want it, you can line up the books and wheel it between rooms. 

It can even act as a themed display, rotating seasonal books, age-based titles, or certain colors to match room aesthetics within its shelves. The book trolley can add something new and creative to your room and be switched out with ease when you change your mind on the room’s overall design. 

Interested to find out about about other ways to display your books? Read, Bookshelf Wealth — everything you need to know about the first major interior trend for 2024.

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Grace Dean

Grace is a freelance journalist working across homes, lifestyle, gaming and entertainment. You'll find her writing for Tom's Guide, TechRadar, Space.com, and other sites. If she's not rearranging her furniture, decluttering her home, or relaxing in front of the latest streaming series, she'll be typing fervently about any of her much-loved hobbies and interests. To aid her writing, she loves to head down internet rabbit holes for an unprecedented amount of time.