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Sweatpants & Sanity | Fantasy Break: So Many Books, So Little Space

By Emily Parker

If you’re like me, you have often found yourself running out of places to stuff your massive book collection. In my case, when my husband gently suggested that I get rid of some of my books, which were stacked in every room and dripping from several mismatched and rickety bookcases, I started hitting up carpenters. We ended up installing a wall of built-in bookshelves in our ex-dining room, which had become a funny little landing off of the kitchen. Add an overstuffed chair and a lamp, and voila! Home library.

For today’s Fantasy Break, we’re looking at creative ways to store books in not-much-space. Some of these projects are so cozy that it makes me want to buy more books just to build them! And no, “in a Kindle” does not count as a book storage solution, husband. A Kindle is a supplement of, not a substitute for, a home library. Enjoy, and vote for your favorite tiny home library solution in our poll! So, where can you stuff your books?

1. In the hallway

I wouldn’t have thought so, but these hallway libraries are surprisingly wonderful! I suspect one would need to start with a fairly wide hallway (and then hope that they never needed to navigate their house in a wheelchair), but aren’t these kind of cool?

2. In the closet

What’s more important, storing coats, or storing books? I know that most people don’t just have a spare closet lying around, but I’m very tempted to sacrifice storing my coats, boots, and dog leashes in favor of one of these beautiful conversions! Add a pedestal with drawers, a cushion, and some lighting, and you’ve got yourself a reading nook. In the below case, they’ve removed the wooden doors from an old built-in bedroom closet and added shelves. Stunning!

3. On your landing

If you have a landing between your upstairs and downstairs, you can easily turn it into a mini-library landing. Add some shelves and a little chair, and you’re all set? Also, how neat is that big bookshelf inside the faux frame?

4. In a window seat

What better way to while away the hours but reading in a sunny window seat? If you already have one, you can sacrifice a bit of your horizontal space and add some built-ins on one or both sides, you could turn the seat itself into a bookshelf, or, best of all, why not add one? After all, haven’t you always wanted a window seat?

5. Under your stairs

Here I go, assuming you haven’t already turned the area under your staircase into a Harry Potter hideout. If you haven’t, though, a staircase is a great place to carve out some space for a mini-office or some amazing bookshelves. Why have wasted space?

Emily Parker is a musician, writer, and avid reader who started Bucket List Book Reviews, the ‘1,001 Books to Read Before You Die’ project. For Sweatpants & Coffee, Emily hopes to inspire the reading of the classics by a whole new audience by only reviewing the really good stuff.

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