10 Bookshelf Alternatives to Showcase Your Favorite Reads
Get creative with your collection.
If you’re anything like us, you're a traditionalist when it comes to books. Having physical copies to add to your shelves (rather than your digital library) makes for a great collection that doubles as chic interior decor. Much like art and accessories, your books can help you show off your personality, hobbies and passions.
Even though we can't seem to shake the desire to turn the pages of a freshly printed hardcover or an aged classic, we also love trying out new ways to showcase our tomes. We love a good #shelfie just like the next design enthusiast, but sometimes you need to get a little creative, and these unexpected ideas have us ready to clear out our bookcases. Whether you're tight on space or are just ready for a decor update — take a look at these creative book styling ideas and get inspired to try something new in your space.
1: Stacked on the Floor
If you don't have a lot of square footage or your storage space is already full, this is the perfect approach for you. Use your floors! This casual approach to showing off your books makes for an understated focal point that anybody can pull off. If you want to take it to the next level, put together a complete corner as a designated reading nook. This is giving us major cozy corner envy.
2: A Simple Nightstand
Your bedside table is an essential place to store some of your favorite books. By having your favorite reads easily accessible, you can power through a few chapters before bed instead of staring at the harsh glow of your phone. While stacking is always an option, we love how these are standing up sans bookends. A little support from the alarm clock and lamp cord keeps this mini library stable and only an arm's length away.
3: Plant Stand
Greenery around the home is a must, but sometimes there just aren’t enough surface areas for the amount of plants we desire. This is where your books come in. Stack your sturdiest books to create some extra platforms for your favorite plants or flowers. Any lackluster corner in your home will immediately come to life with this simple decor trick. You can even go about this a bit haphazardly by having a Jenga moment and stacking your books in different directions.
4: In Alcoves
Small alcoves or non-functioning fireplaces are often overlooked, but definitely shouldn't be. If you happen to have this charming element in your home, take advantage of it. Stacking your books with the largest at the base and smallest at the top will draw the eye directly to this playful visual. By using books with bright covers you'll create a small, but powerful pop of color in your space. Even if you don't have a tiny cut-out in one of your walls, you can still try this style in any corner or area that needs a little extra oomph.
5: Take a Seat
Creating a stylish foyer is a big task, but what we're focused on is how perfect those books look on top of this natural bench. While this seat may not be used for its original purpose, it's still doing quite a job serving as a backdrop for these neutral decorations. Start showing off your style and interests right at your front door to make your space feel completely yours.
6: Books as Tables
Who needs to use their paycheck to buy a new side table if you can make your own with the help of your oversized hardcovers? Create a reliable structure to house beside your sofa or armchair. It won't just give you the chance to show off books that may have otherwise been stored away, you'll also get a resting spot for your drinks, lamps and anything else you need a place for.
7: A Grand Display
When you put your books on a standard shelf, you're left only seeing the binding of the book with its name and author. This is fine, but the cover art is often what we really want to have on display. This idea works especially well for kids' rooms! Install a few small ledges to stand your most creatively designed books on for all to see. We know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but we can't help but love this option!
8: Minimalist Approach
When all's said and done you really want the focus to be on your reads. Going the minimalist route is one of the easiest ways to achieve this. Let the books speak for themselves by using them as a centerpiece on top of your dresser or console. Simply pair them with a small plant or some tiny knickknacks and the books will be the shining star of this simple vignette.
9: Book Takeover
If your home is filled with furniture and decor, it may be hard to find a spot big enough for your library. Use what you have, just like this Instagrammer used a Lucite stacking table. Slide your books right in wherever there is a bit of extra space. From under your coffee table to beside your television, books are welcome everywhere.
10: Switch Things Up
If you don't want to ditch your shelving, that's fine! There are tons of ways for you to update your shelves while giving them a unique style. Instead of going with the standard choice of displaying your books with their spines facing outwards, flip them around and show their worn pages instead. This monochromatic look makes for a neutral-lover's dream and is perfect for any bedroom. Serious goals here.