The Importance of Literature

You’ve bought books throughout your entire life. You’re a bit of a collector and have amassed quite a nice collection of books. You love the feel of the real thing and despite being reasonably youthful just can’t adapt to the idea of reading an entire book on a screen. Now, you have an apartment of your own and you’ve got countless boxes filled with books. Sure, it would have been nice to just pile them all into three really large boxes when you were moving in, but people tend to underestimate their weight – they can be extremely heavy, and your collection probably weighs a ton. Something’s got to be done, something efficient and cost effective. That eliminates the idea of renting a storage unit. And yet you continue to buy books, it’s an old habit that frankly you see no need to break. Besides it’s time to learn how to work with a great volume of books as a whole – after all, you are going to have future residences in the future and ultimately it’s up to you to situate the books as tastefully as possible. Don’t suggest parting with any of your literary treasures – it ain’t gonna happen. So let’s talk problem solving:

Does your dwelling have a hallway? Sure, its primary purpose is to get us from point A to point B. However, an average hallway can serve more functions than that. For instance, what if you were to add shelves to the walls? Your corridor can be a compact library, one that maximizes space in your apartment and makes a visual feast of your books. Consider “invisible” shelves, too, floating and effective and much more interesting.bookshelves-installed-in-an-apartment-hallwayParticularly if you live in a studio apartment, you may wish for a way to divide it up a little. So set up a large bookshelf perpendicular to the hall. It can serve as a great divider and even create a makeshift hall (depending on where you position it). Sure, a curtain or a screen can achieve about the same result, but this gives you the chance to display your books like the open shelves do so visibly in this instance.

So, what of a “literary” headboard or baseboard? Your love for books is happily overstated why not take it a step further and keep them where you spend the most time, where you lay your weary head? There are quite a few bookcase headboards out there, take a look for yourself. You could even just pick one up at Target. Even simpler, however, is storing books at the base of your bed instead. It’s an easy do it tall-bookshelf-two-storiesyourself project as any short and wide bookshelf (or bench) will do the trick.

A favorite among those of us that are a little taller than average are the high perimeter bookshelves. Here’s the fact – built-in AND standalone bookcases can take up too much space. Given our small apartment scenario, that’s difficult to work with. But wait – you have ceiling space! That’s right – add shelves along the upper perimeter of your walls and you will cause neither clutter nor chaos. It’s a great functional idea to store books, but not one that comes without challenges. You’ll need to use a ladder and handle power tools simultaneously so you might want to bring in someone that can handle this effortlessly. You know, like a pro, or, dad. In the end, however, those high shelves will be worth their weight in gold for the storage they provide. How about a fun little idea that will surely awaken the kid in you? A loft bed library is compact and fun. It’s like a little hiding place that you can sit in (assuming you’re on the petite side) and be with your books. Imagine building into the wall immediately adjacent to your bed a cubbyhole lined with shelves, with just enough space for you to sit comfortably cross-legged as you peruse your latest read. If you can make something like this to work with, you are truly creating space out of practically nothing.


If you’re female you may not go for this idea. I mention that in humor – after all, women are generally more likely to stuff their closet with clothes and shoes – not that there aren’t exceptions on both sides, of course. But, if you don’t mind giving up the closet, or if in fact you use in minimally anyway, it can become a wonderfully functional library. Install a wall of shelves and make the final touch a framed glass door which will then serve to frame the vision of rows of books – a picturesque scene of literary collections.

Is there any unused space in your apartment? Look around, maybe behind an always-open door, or some nook or cubby hole, an out of the way corner… there are shelves for all sizes and you can make shelving work in any space no matter how small. Who knows – you could have random single shelves with five books here, ten over there, and just three on another, etc…

Sometimes you just gotta go with book stacks that are stashed away. Informal and sometimes even unintended, these collections seem to spring up organically. Laughably, this is the single renter or college student option that goes hand in hand with stack-of-books-sitting-on-the-flooreating a bowl of cereal sitting on the floor between them. It’s how you develop life skills! But if you stack them tastefully – in corners with spines facing out, maybe even sorted by size and color, you could create a very cool visual that feels as though its entirely intentional (not just for lack of space).

So there ya have it – the best physical ways to work with a lot of books in a little bit of space. With the wealth of literary product you own you could never be accused of being stingy. The next logical step for consolidation may be the only one left, to accept technology and take on an eReader. There’s no shame in it, and you can always build your book collection at a later date when you can properly accommodate it as a bona fide home owner!


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