How to Store Books in the Bedroom

Last Updated On June 10th, 2024
How to Store Books in the Bedroom

Key Takeaways

  • Optimize Environmental Conditions: Ensure your book storage takes into account environmental factors such as avoiding exposure to direct sunlight, maintaining optimal temperature and humidity levels, and promoting good air circulation. This will contribute to the longevity and preservation of your book collection.
  • Innovative Storage Solutions: Explore alternative storage options beyond traditional bookshelves, such as floating shelves, under-bed storage, and creative use of empty spaces. Tailor your storage solutions to fit the size of your collection and the available room, incorporating both functionality and aesthetic appeal.
  • Organizational Creativity: Organize your books in a way that aligns with your preferences, whether it’s alphabetically, by genre, by book height, or color-coded. Consider creative display options like arranging books on windowsills, headboards, or under furniture. Prioritize accessibility for frequently read books, and ensure that your storage solution enhances the overall aesthetic of your bedroom.

If you find yourself constantly acquiring new books despite your limited space, you’re not alone. For book lovers, books are more than just possessions – they are treasured items that represent knowledge, imagination, and hours of reading enjoyment. However, finding space to store an ever-growing book collection can be challenging, especially in a small bedroom.

Avid readers often dream of having expansive libraries or wall-to-wall bookcases to house their expanding collection. While giant bookcases may not be feasible for the average bedroom, there are ways to comfortably fit all of your books using the storage space and design elements in your room.

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With some creativity and organization, you can design the perfect book storage solutions to keep your books handy while enhancing the aesthetic of your bedroom retreat.

Consider utilizing self-storage options, optimizing empty spaces, and employing smart strategies for small spaces when organizing books to make the most of your available room.

This article will explore creative book storage and display ideas to help maximize your available space. We’ll cover traditional bookshelf options along with more unique storage spots. You’ll also find tips on keeping your books organized, properly cared for, and creatively showcased.

Benefits of Reading Before Bed

When it comes to relaxing activities that can help you fall asleep fast, reading before bed is a tried-and-tested method. It can be a much more sleep-promoting activity than using your phone before bed.

One such study Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source that looked at reading vs. not reading before bed involved 991 participants aged 18 or above, recruited through social media campaigns. Participants were randomly assigned to either read a book before bed (intervention group) or refrain from reading (control group) for seven consecutive days. Sleep quality was measured using the single-item sleep quality scale, and other outcomes included sleep disturbance and daytime sleepiness.

Out of the participants, 42% in the intervention group reported improved sleep quality compared to 28% in the control group. The study suggested that reading a book before sleep led to enhanced sleep quality, and the difference was estimated to be between 8% and 22% more improvement in the intervention group compared to the control group. The pragmatic trial took place in real-life conditions, allowing for the assessment of the intervention’s effectiveness in participants’ own homes.

Similarly, a 2024 study Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source investigated the impact of emotions induced by bedtime reading on sleep quality in both young and older adults. The research revealed that positive emotions generated by reading short stories at bedtime significantly influenced sleep outcomes. Older adults, in particular, experienced reduced time to fall asleep and increased sleep duration when engaging in positive reading before bedtime.

Key Considerations for Storing Books in the Bedroom

When deciding where and how to store books in your bedroom, there are a few key factors to keep in mind:

Environmental Conditions

Books are susceptible to damage from moisture, heat, and sunlight, so storage location matters. Avoid placing books near heating/AC vents, humidifiers for sleep, or windows where they will be exposed to temperature and humidity fluctuations or direct sun. Optimal air circulation is crucial for maintaining the condition of your books, whether you’re organizing them in a home library or a controlled storage unit.

When considering ways to store books, prioritize controlled storage environments or a climate-controlled storage unit that regulates temperature and humidity levels, ensuring the longevity of your collection. You may also want to consider the indirect benefits of an air purifier in the bedroom.

Air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters can effectively capture dust particles, reducing the amount of dust that settles on book surfaces. This is particularly beneficial in preventing the degradation of books caused by dust accumulation.

Odor control is another aspect where air purifiers can make a positive impact. Models with activated carbon filters can help eliminate unpleasant smells, ensuring that books are not exposed to musty or undesirable odors that could affect their quality. Such smells can also impact your sleep in adverse ways, so it’s a win-win all around to eliminate them from the bedroom.

Some models of air purifiers may also come with dehumidifiers that can limit the moisture that can degrade a book collection. Remember that humidity is important for good sleep, though, so strike a balancing act and make sure your bedroom isn’t too dry to be comfortable.

The University of Chicago suggests storing books away from direct sunlight and light sources, which can cause deterioration and fading. Their advice is to store books in an area with consistent temperature and relative humidity, ideally 70° Fahrenheit and 50% Relative Humidity, as too-hot conditions can make the paper brittle and too-wet environments can encourage mold growth.

As you acquire more books, thoughtful placement and adherence to these guidelines will contribute to the preservation of your literary treasures. As the Library of Congress notes, the best book preservation measures are preventive.

Shelving Options

Consider the size of your collection and the types of shelving needed. Vertical bookshelves, floating shelves, under-bed storage, and alternative options all have pros and cons to weigh.

If you’re dealing with limited space, a revolving bookshelf can efficiently use empty space and provide easy access to your collection. Storing your books vertically is an effective way to maximize space and create a visually appealing arrangement.

Utilizing under-bed storage is a clever way to fill empty space and keep your books accessible yet neatly tucked away.  Furthermore, bed risers can safely make your bed higher and expand the space you have for storing things under the bed.

Explore various options to store your books, including vertically oriented shelving or unconventional alternatives, to find the perfect solution for your expanding collection, whether it includes books, magazines, or other literary treasures.


Decide how you want to arrange your books – for example alphabetically, by genre, or color-coded? Organization is key for a clutter-free space and easy retrieval. Whether you’re considering a self-storage facility for long-term storage, utilizing storage containers, or incorporating a room divider as a creative book display, think about how each option aligns with your preferred organizational method.

Take advantage of inventive storage solutions like using book covers to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your collection. You can even repurpose a bar cart as a stylish and mobile way to store books, allowing for flexible arrangements within your space.

Find a way to store books that not only suit your organizational preferences but also add a touch of creativity to your reading environment.


Place frequently read books within reach. If you read before bed, keep a couple of your favorite titles on the nightstand for convenience, perhaps with a coaster for a cup of tea for sleep. This is especially useful in a small space where maximizing every available inch matters.

Consider using the space underneath your nightstand for additional storage, ensuring that even in a compact setting, your most cherished reads are easily accessible and contribute to the cozy ambiance of your reading nook. Just make sure you still have room for all the nightstand essentials.

Aesthetic Appeal

Storage should blend with your room’s decor. Select bookcases or shelves that complement your style and turn your books into a decorative feature. Consider incorporating a coffee table with built-in storage or using aesthetically pleasing storage containers to seamlessly integrate your favorite reads into your room’s design.

Explore innovative storage units that not only house your books but also serve as a great place to showcase decorative items. Keeping these factors in mind will help you create a functional yet elegant book storage solution tailored to your space and needs.

Exploring Traditional Bookshelf Options

For many book lovers, a classic wooden bookshelf is the go-to choice for showcasing their literary collection. While traditional bookshelves have their limitations, especially in smaller bedrooms, they can still be a great storage option when selected carefully.

Floor-to-Ceiling Bookshelves

Tall, vertical bookshelves that reach from floor to ceiling provide ample storage space while maintaining a compact footprint. Place against an empty wall or use a bookshelf to divide room spaces. Just be sure to securely anchor to the wall to prevent tipping.

Cubbyhole Shelves

Cubbyhole bookcases are a versatile and space-efficient storage solution, especially beneficial in small studio apartment bedrooms where maximizing space is crucial. These compact units feature divided compartments or cubbies, allowing you to organize books, decor, or essentials neatly.

With their modular design, cubbyhole bookcases not only provide practical storage but also serve as stylish room dividers, delineating living and workspaces in a seamless and visually appealing manner.

Wall-Mounted Shelves

Similar to floor-to-ceiling shelves, wall-mounted bookcases conserve floor area since they float on the wall. Go for height and add interest by incorporating stepped shelving.

Shorter Shelving Units

For smaller collections, a short, wide bookcase may suffice. Place under a window or mount at couch height to double as a sofa table. Just be sure to style decoratively.

Bookcase Headboards

Headboard bookcases give you storage and display space right in your bed frame. Just be sure to keep a bookcase bed frame minimal and styled nicely so they don’t appear too cluttered.

The key when using traditional bookshelves is to maximize vertical space, keep them visually appealing, and fit the style to your existing décor.

Alternative Book Storage Options for Small Bedrooms

While traditional bookshelves work for some, others may find them too bulky or restrictive for their space. Luckily, there are plenty of innovative book storage ideas that make use of every nook and cranny.

Floating Shelves

Mounted directly on the wall, floating shelves create extra storage without taking up floor space. Stagger heights and sizes to add visual interest. They’re perfect above beds, sofas, or desks.

Ladder Shelves

Ladder-style bookshelves lean vertically against the wall. Their slanted, ladder-like tiers are ideal for displaying books while conserving floor area.

Under-Bed Storage

Slide plastic bins or specialized under-bed book boxes beneath your bed to capitalize on wasted space. Just be sure to measure first! If there’s not enough space, consider ways to make your bed higher, such as with a set of bed risers.

You can also cleverly conceal the books with a lengthy bed skirt if you don’t want a stack of tomes under the bed to draw too much attention.

Window Ledges

An empty windowsill is prime real estate for neatly lining up a row of books. Add a cozy cushion for an impromptu reading nook. Just avoid direct sun exposure.

Cubby Organizers

Cubby hole shelving units work wonderfully mounted on walls, under loft beds, or behind couches. Their boxy compartments keep books tucked away but within reach.

With a little creativity, you can find the perfect out-of-the-box book storage solution for your bedroom. The options are endless!

Creative Book Storage Spots and Display Ideas

Searching for more unique book storage spots beyond just shelves? Your bedroom is full of overlooked nooks and platforms waiting to be transformed into functional displays for your literary collection.

Windowsills and Ledges

Any deep windowsill can moonlight as a mini bookshelf. Line up favorites for a cozy reading spot or stack horizontally for more storage. Just keep them out of direct sun.

Headboards and Baseboards

Install floating shelves or cubbies in your headboard for easy bedtime reading access. You can also add bookshelves at the foot of the bed on the baseboard.

Under Furniture

The space under benches, chairs, side tables, and beds can accommodate plastic bins or crates to concealed books. Use them to store overflow.

Some furniture pieces, like ottomans and floor benches, even have hidden compartments where you can store items like books. Plus, they’re the perfect complement if you want to make a bed look like a couch.

Or you can cut out the middleman entirely and look into ottoman beds.

Behind Furniture

Place a bookshelf behind a couch or use the back of a desk hutch to display your books creatively. Add decor pieces to tie together.

In Closets and Drawers

Have extra space in your closet or dresser? Add adjustable shelving to store book overflow or collections you don’t access regularly.

Corner Shelving

Take advantage of wasted corner space by installing angled corner shelves. They’ll hold plenty of books without dominating the room.

Book Towers

Vertical book towers occupy minimal floor space but pack in storage. Rotating options allow you to browse each shelf easily.

On the Stairs

Line your staircase wall or steps with shelving to show off your book collection. It saves space while adding architectural interest.

The above ideas prove you can incorporate book storage into any area of your bedroom with a little ingenuity. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

Displaying Your Books with Style

You’ve found the perfect book storage solutions for your bedroom – now comes the fun part of artfully displaying your collection. Follow these tips to organize your books in an aesthetically pleasing way, or mix and match for your style (such as organizing first by genre, then by author’s last name or by book height within each genre).

Take time playing around with different book arrangements until you find a system that keeps them organized while also catching the eye. The options are endless!

Arrange by Genre

Group books by categories like fiction, non-fiction, mystery, cookbooks, etc. This makes finding certain books a breeze.

Organize Alphabetically

For a clean, orderly look, arrange books alphabetically by the author’s last name. This approach is great for larger collections.

Color Coordinate

Add vibrancy by sorting books by color. Create rainbow effects or tone-on-tone palettes – whatever complements your room’s style.

Mix Large and Small

Vary book sizes and heights to prevent a rigid, unnatural look. Combine hardbacks with paperbacks for depth and dimension.

Use Bookends

Bookends keep your vertical stacks upright and tidy and can be perfect for floating shelves or table displays. Choose ones that match your bedroom’s aesthetic.

Incorporate Bookish Decor

Place bookish accents like statues, candles, framed pages, or book-themed prints with quotes or illustrations among your collection to enhance the literary vibe.

Spotlight Favorites

Pull special books forward or place on an adjacent table to highlight meaningful titles or pretty cover designs. You don’t need a coffee table to give a “coffee table book” the place of honor it deserves.

Caring for Your Book Collection

No book storage solution is complete without proper care and handling of your beloved volumes. Protect your books from damage and extend their longevity using these maintenance tips:

  • Store books away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and discoloration.
  • Keep humidity around 30-50% to prevent mold and mildew growth and musty smells.
  • Dust bookshelves and book spines regularly using a soft cloth to prevent buildup.
  • Gently wipe pages with a clean, dry cloth to remove debris and oils from fingers.
  • Use book sleeves, covers, or jackets to protect delicate antique books and fragile dust jackets.
  • Inspect regularly for pests like silverfish in the bedroom and signs of molds or moisture damage. Address immediately to prevent spreading.
  • Avoid overcrowding shelves and pushing books too tightly onto a shelf so covers don’t bend.
  • Handle old books with clean hands and care when removing from shelves to prevent spine damage. If you have a nighttime skin routine, make sure your hands are clear of any product before you begin unwinding with a book.
  • Be careful when drinking a cup of tea for sleep or tart cherry juice and reading, as spills and splashes of liquid can damage pristine pages.

Your books deserve gentle care and maintenance. By keeping them properly stored and handled, you’ll enjoy your collection for many years to come.


Is it OK to have books in the bedroom?

Having books in the bedroom is generally acceptable unless their presence interferes with your sleep. Opt for a tidy and organized arrangement, avoiding clutter. Consider the content, too—choose calming genres and maintain a visually appealing book display to enhance the bedroom atmosphere.

While some argue that keeping books in the bedroom can be distracting, it ultimately depends on personal preference. If the sight of books stimulates your mind, consider creating a designated reading nook outside of the bedroom. And when you’re reading books before bed, avoid suspenseful or intense genres before bedtime, opting for calming reads to promote better sleep.

Can you store books in a dresser?

Yes, bedroom dressers can be excellent book storage solutions. You can use the drawers to keep books organized and protected from dust. Consider categorizing books by genre or size for easy access, possibly with sticky notes to mark separate categories.

However, it is possible to overload a dresser drawer with books. So it’s important to be mindful of the weight capacity of the drawer. Exceeding this weight limit can lead to structural damage, warping, or difficulty in opening and closing the drawer smoothly. Ensure proper weight distribution to prevent overloading drawers and affecting the dresser’s stability.

Is it OK to store books on the floor?

Storing books on the floor is acceptable, but it’s essential to maintain a neat and organized arrangement. Use bookends or decorative baskets to keep books upright and prevent them from becoming a tripping hazard. Regularly dust the books to maintain a clean and inviting bedroom environment.

Where can I store books without a bookshelf?

Maximize available space by integrating books into existing furniture. Use bedside tables, dressers, or nightstands with built-in shelves. Embrace creative alternatives such as decorative baskets and plastic containers, wall-mounted crates or racks, or repurposed furniture with shelves. Utilize vertical space with hanging organizers or create a stackable book tower on a side table.

Think beyond traditional bookshelves for inventive storage solutions. Prioritize a visually pleasing arrangement that complements your bedroom decor.

How do you store books in your bedroom?

Personalize your approach based on available space and aesthetic preferences. Explore bookshelves, floating shelves, nightstand storage, or even incorporate books into your bedroom decor. Ensure that the storage method aligns with your bedroom’s ambiance and doesn’t disrupt your sleep routine.

Not much space in the bedroom? Use space-saving solutions like wall-mounted shelves, floating book ledges, or under-bed storage. Consider multi-functional furniture like bedside tables with built-in book storage. Additionally, e-books and audiobooks provide a digital alternative, minimizing physical storage needs.


When you’re setting up book storage in your bedroom, it’s both fun and practical to work around your furniture and other stuff, like where you store bedding. You can choose between traditional bookshelves, cool storage ideas, or a mix of both.

Think about things like the environment and how easy it is to reach your books, particularly if you use them to unwind at night before bed instead of having technology like a TV in the bedroom.

With a bit of creativity, you can turn your bedroom into a cozy spot filled with books that make your space feel just right, creating a classic vibe that meshes well with panel or platform bed frames.

About the author

Mitchell Tollsen is a graduate student and a freelance writer who’s contributed to the Early Bird blog for three years. Mitchell’s always been fascinated by the science of sleep and the restorative processes our bodies undergo when at rest. The self-titled “Sleep Expert” is always looking for ways to improve his shut-eye, and throughout the years has implemented numerous lifestyle changes and tried dozens of sleep-promoting gadgets to determine the best ways to truly get better rest.

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