Easy and Creative Ways to Display Your Book Collection

acrylic coffee table with books

Krystine Edwards

Oh, books! People love to hold on to a good read. If you're one of those people who hoard hundreds of books and refuse to let even one of them go, you need something spectacular to showcase them all. Instead of going with a typical bookshelf you can buy anywhere, allow yourself to be more creative with how you display your collection.

But if your books are gathering dust in a forgotten corner, these ideas will show you how to turn your book clutter into stylish displays. Hopefully, you'll take away a handful of ideas you can use in your own home, and you'll pass on the inspiration to friends and family who come over and see your new setup!


Watch Now: 9 Tips for Styling Shelves

  • 01 of 11

    Turn Your Books into an End Table

    books as nightstand
    Alvhem Makleri

    This ingenious arrangement puts books to work as a one-of-a-kind end table. The trick is to create a display that won't topple easily. Hardcovers stacked horizontally will create a stable surface. 

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  • 02 of 11

    Ditch Your Traditional Bookshelf

    Wall Mounted Hanging Book Rack

    This handbuilt book rack by AGUSTAV will beautifully dress up a bare wall with your favorite hardcovers. FYI, its unique suspension system won't damage pages. Another good to know, the makers behind this smart design have more than 100 five star reviews on Etsy. 

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  • 03 of 11

    Arrange by Color and Size

    Books arranged by color
    Alvhem Makleri

    Shelves can both organize and beautify a living space unless they're crammed with books sloppily arranged.

    Color coding your home library will solve this problem. Not only will your shelved collection look tidier, but it can also make books easier to find if you remember their shade.

    Want to create a relaxed look? Arrange your color-sorted books horizontally. For a more formal appearance, organize books by both color and size.

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  • 04 of 11

    Show Off Books in Display Cabinets

    built-in book display

    You can show off your small home library using cubby styled wall cabinets.

    The trick is not to stuff each compartment with books. Also, adding a few decorative items will boost visual interest.

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  • 05 of 11

    DIY a Unique Coffee Table

    coffee table book display
    Apartment Therapy

    This one of a kind coffee table is a real conversation starter that pretty much anyone can make. The tabletop is an old wood framed window, but you can use virtually any hard flat surface. You'll need a stack of hardcover books under each corner to prop up the surface. So that you know, each stack must be the same height. See more photos from this apartment tour right here

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  • 06 of 11

    Use Books to Create a Gallery Wall

    Book gallery wall
    Tomwaldek/ Twenty20

    Want to get those oversized books off your coffee table? Install a ledge wall shelf on an empty wall. They're usually used to show off framed pictures and artworks, but they're also perfect for displaying coffee table books, graphic novels, and vintage children's books.

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  • 07 of 11

    Create Rhythm and Appeal


    Dozens of books lined up vertically from floor to ceiling looks stuffy. Breaking up the monotony with horizontal stacks adds a little visual rhythm that appears less formal.

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  • 08 of 11

    Let Books Share Your Story

    Superman bookends
    Artori Design

    "Books tell a lot about the person living in the home," says artist and designer Pablo Solomon. He suggests arranging them in small curated collections that make a personal statement. Adding a clever bookend that ties into your display's theme creates a visual story.

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  • 09 of 11

    Use Stairs to Show Off Books

    staircase bookcase
    Zminkowska De Boise Architects

    Staircase storage is a practical space making solution. This idea designed by Zminkowska De Boise Architects shows how you can use steps to carve out a family library.

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  • 10 of 11

    Bright and Airy Coffee Table

    acrylic coffee table with books
    Krystine Edwards

    Transparent décor like this acrylic coffee table is a small space favorite because its airy looks won't overload a tiny room. Storing colorful books under it creates a stylish display.

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  • 11 of 11

    Spruce Up Boring Stairs

    Lisa Joanne/Flickr

    Is your staircase super boring? Spruce it up with a bookshelf. The one shown here can be recreated using molding and thick planks of wood. After it's installed, paint.