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If you are limited in space, and can only count on the space in your bedroom for a sizable collection of books, there are many options which can be utilized to make your books accessible and also a part of the decor.
If you enjoy spending time in your bedroom, and want to include your book collection as an integral part of the decor, there are solutions which are both aesthetically appealing and functional. Depending on the room size and footprint, let your imagination direct you to solutions.
Book storage can be much more than cardboard boxes stacked in a corner.These suggestions are not suitable for every room, but may help you to think about some alternative storage ideas.
Put Your Creative Ideas In Play
Go Up With Creative Shelving
Unless your ceilings are very low, chances are good that you have at least a foot of room for a shelf to place where your walls meet your ceiling. If your room height is extra tall, you may be able to run a double row of shelves around the room. It is an area that most people do not use in any way, so placing a row of books to circle the room may provide a significant amount of shelves. A benefit of a row (or two) of books above head height is that it doesn’t take up floor space, and yet is easily accessible.
Spaces over windows and doors can become an area where books are stored. Attractive open shelving on any wall space is a decorative way to add shelving without looking cluttered. You can add bookends or other collectible items to make the space less cluttered.
Go Up With A Loft Bed
Whether your bed is a single, full size or larger, raising it up four to five feet on a framework of shelves is a way to gain many places to arrange your book collection. You can leave one side open to create a reading nook if you are so inclined. Additional space can be achieved by introducing a series of open cubes to form a stairsteps which hold books at each level. Access is easy and convenient, and your bed is perched on a comfortable platform with bookcase headboards if you prefer.
Below the bed is a cozy area lined by bookshelves which support the platform where the bed rests. If you make the bookshelves open and double width, so they are accessible from the inside of the space, as well as the outside, you have essentially doubled the shelf space without losing any floor space.
Go Under With Unused Under-bed Shelves
Even if you prefer to keep your bed at traditional levels, place drawers, bins, or shelves under the bed, and fill them with books. Typically a space under the bed is not utilized for anything, so putting a bookshelf there will hold a large number of books.
Create a bench under a window, or possibly at the foot of your bed. Instead of open and wasted space, make the area under the seating into a bookcase. The bench provides a place to sit when removing shoes and the books stored there are within easy reach if you want to grab something to read. To make it easier to access something at floor level, place bins or drawers on casters
Go Behind An Inward Opening Door
You can take advantage of narrow spaces behind a door. A book case that has 6- inch deep shelves will hold a lot of mass market paperbacks. The space is narrow, but can be a great place to tuck a sizable wall mounted bookshelf. If the space is deep enough, you could place a second bookshelf attached to the door. You have two shelf racks which are three feet wide and six feet high. That amounts to many linear feet where books can be placed.
Go Inside Your Unused Closet
If you have any unused closet space, even if it is small, it can be turned into a small library. Remove the door and attach shelves to the remaining three walls of the closet. You will end up with a three sided alcove with multiple shelves on each side. This approach is best implemented when it is a small closet which is not a walk-in type. You will probably not use a room-sized walk- in closet unless you have more books than clothes and want to give up some excess closet space.
A more ambitious way to use closet space is to set it up as a pantry-style pull-out set of bookshelves. The shelf units are on tracks and pull out of the closet space one at a time to access the books which line both sides of the shelves. When the unit is retracted into the closet space, it is a smooth surface facing the room, with just the pull slots or handles showing.
If you have unused drawers or chests as part of the furnishings in your room, use them as storage space for your book collection.
Go Mobile With A Rolling Cart
A wheeled cart is a useful way to add extra book storage. A cart can be made of wood, metal, or other materials. Because it comes with wheels, it is easy to move around in your bedroom to maximize the space where your books can be arranged. units, a cart can be placed anywhere in the room where there is enough floor space to accommodate the cart and its layers of books.
Environmental Concerns When Storing Books In Your Bedroom
Because older and well-used books can come with challenges, you should be familiar with the proper environment to keep your books in the best possible condition. No matter where you place your book collection there are certain factors which should be addressed for the protection of your books and your own health.
Dirt on your books is not only unpleasant to handle, but can cause deterioration of the books. Dust mites, mold spores and the possibility of a number of insects and their eggs are often present. Before starting a major organizing and arranging project to place the books in your bedroom, take the time to carefully assess the condition of the books. Make sure you wear non permeable gloves while handling books which show signs of insect infestation, mold spores or the musty odor associated with mildew.
You should wear a mask or even a respirator before handling books which are showing signs of mold. Not all fungi are a hazard to your health, but it’s best not to breathe in any organisms, particularly if you have respiratory problems. Separate the books which have issues and treat them with the recommended measures. Wipe down moldy books with denatured-alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, and allow them to dry thoroughly before placing them on your clean shelves.
Clean the shelves regularly and use packets of desiccant to help control times of high humidity. Books should never be kept in an atmosphere with high moisture or humidity. It may be necessary to install a dehumidifier in order to better manage the moisture levels in the room.
Books which show signs of insect damage should be frozen for several hours in a freezer that gets cold enough to stop insects from continuing to make lunch out of your collection. There are dozens of insects which are known to enjoy the food and moisture source during their life cycle.
Temperature and Relative Humidity
In a bedroom, the challenges of temperature and relative humidity may not be as prevalent as in some other areas of the residence. The best temperature range is between 68 F and 72 F with 50 percent humidity. These measurements are also comfortable for humans and pets, so the only challenge to deal with is if the temperature and/or relative humidity changes suddenly.
Direct exposure to the sun’s rays can cause fading, as well as causing the paper in the book to become dry and brittle. Avoid placing your bedroom books in direct sunlight. Artificial lighting is best accomplished by LED lights. They don’t have the high levels of UV and last longer so are more energy efficient.
Books need to breathe in order to thrive. When you are placing the books on shelves, don’t try to overcrowd them. They should be supported along the spine edge by using other books or by bookends. They should be shelved in a way that leaves at least two inches of space between the wall or the back of the bookcase. When the air is moving in the room, you are less likely to have mold or insect problems.
Finding extra book storage space in your bedroom is a smart use of under-utilized space. It is also a way to apply creativity and functionality to solve storage problems.