The Bookshelf Debate

Since moving into my place two years ago, my book collection has expanded by completely unanticipated volume.  Sure, I’ve always been a voracious reader, and the number of shopping bags filled with books outnumbered all other bags and boxes when I settled into my place. Even so, I quickly realized that my book-buying habits were literally going to kick me out of house and home as I had soon filled every square inch of bookshelf space. Two years and two new bookshelves later, and I’ve officially run out of room once again.

Surely I’m not the only one to have experienced this problem, and so I ask you: What do you do about the bookshelf problem? Do you struggle to cram yet one more book into a tight space (while keeping everything artfully arranged, of course)? Do you buy more bookshelves and hope that they fit into your apartment? Do you store them in the closet or in a storage box under the bed? Do you construct leaning towers of prose in crooks and corners like in college? Or do you simply avoid the problem altogether by selling your books or giving them away?

Personally, I can’t bear to get rid of a book unless I absolutely loathe it. Chances are, your book will have to garner a one-star rating from me before I decide to dump it. Sometimes, even if I hate a book, I have to hold on to it anyway to complete an author or series collection. Likewise, I hate the thought of shoving a book away in a closet like an unloved toy; I might not be planning on rereading a book for years, yet I like to have it visually accessible as a reminder of where I’ve traveled. Books are obviously the focal point of my design schemes, and so I have to find some way to accommodate my ever-increasing collection.

For all my fellow compulsive readers out there; any tips? How do you handle your own book collections? Any space-saving storage techniques I should know about?


7 thoughts on “The Bookshelf Debate

  1. I have a lot of books (and I can’t stop myself from buying more). When I recently moved, I decided to only keep the books I absolutely like and donate the ones I don’t. Which worked somewhat but honestly, I just use whatever surface space is available and wish for the best.

  2. Look at your shelves all neat and tidy! Sorry I have no tips for you. Mine are stacked three deep and are crammed in there willy nilly. I stuff books wherever I can but it’s reached crazytown levels and they are taking over my bureau and closet space. Clothes or books? Soon I may have to make a decision.

  3. Pish I see let’s of space there! 😉 Firstly the top of your bookcases are empty! I pile books up high on mine. And I see a very lovely picture that might just have to find a better home on a different wall. You could fit a whole third bookcase in there 😀

    I don’t like to get rid of books either, you are very right when you say it’s like a reminder of a journey. Only books I hate are gotten rid off. I’m one of those who loves books in every room and they get piled everywhere, including the bathroom. Makes a room look homely and it’s absolutely NOT clutter 😉

    • I would put another bookcase there, but you see, I have a problem; I’ve been searching for over a year, and I can’t find another bookcase that matches the depth of the two I already have! They are abnormally shallow, and are no longer sold : ( I am contemplating bookends on top though.

  4. At one point, I had a bookshelf that was held together by the books on it, everything was so tightly crammed in there! (I wish I was joking, but one of the shelves actually did fall out when I emptied the shelf beneath it.)

    My solution is usually to get another bookshelf, but I have been known to reallocate dresser space, desk space, and even headboard space to accommodate my collection.

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