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Storing Children's books: odd shapes and sizes

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
How do you keep your children's books looking neat and organized?

We have a bookcase I'd planned to use for Ds but the shelves aren't deep enough to hold all the funky sizes and shapes for picture books without the spines hanging over the edge.

Right now I have them laying on their sides but then you can't easily locate specific books and it looks messy. Since I anticipate we'll be using these kinds of books for several years to come, I'd love a more sustainable solution. Please share what your family does.
post #2 of 12


We got rid of a ton of books that she had, she's almost six, and had outgrown a lot, or tired of some.

Then we put the books in a basket. Or you can use a dishpan. It really helps her to see the books, instead of just the bookshelf. HTH.
post #3 of 12
I've discovered it doesn't help to waste too much energy on making the kids' books look perfect. Several times a week one of the boys will pull EVERY book off of the shelf anyway...

(For this reason, we only keep the books they are currently looking at on the shelf. We have quite a few "books without pictures" for the kids once they learn to read. Those are kept in a box up in the closet, so there's a lot less stuff for them to mess up!)

Anyway, for storing odd-sized books, maybe some big baskets or crates? It's easier for the kids to help clean up that way anyway.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'm leaning towards wanting an easy in/out solution like baskets or a newspaper/magazine rack but (my bibliophile) Dh thinks just a deeper bookcase will be better. Ds is a little ways away from being able to pick up/put away on his own but I anticipate the pulling off shelves game will begin soon!

Its not so much an issue of wanting the books to look perfect but to have better access and have them look better than they do. The bookcase is obviously the wrong thing for the job right now.

Anyway, keep the ideas coming!
post #5 of 12
I just went into dd and ds's room (it's naptime and they are supposed to play or read quietly) and they have put EVERY book onto ds's bed. The bookcase is now empty.

Actually, I've been REALLY needing more bookcase space for my books; maybe I'll just take theirs and use baskets/crates or something for them instead....

post #6 of 12
I'm hoping to get round to making something like this. (Not the whole thing, just the book storage part)

toy storage unit
post #7 of 12
I don't have the wall space, but I've seen lots of nice pics online where they have used rain gutters attached to the walls so the books can face forward and the kids can see them. If I had a play room, I would totally do that.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Wow Vanessa, do really mean buy them at the hardware store rain gutters? That sounds like a cool idea and I'd love to see a pic if you remember where you saw it online. I bet Dh and I could compromise on something like that!
post #9 of 12
I put up some gutter shelves in a little corner in my sons room. It makes an awkward corner look so cozy and is very practical because he can see the displayed books to choose, and clean up is simple. We have connected wooden crates for most of our books though, since the gutters dont hold many the way we put them.
If you do the gutters, be sure to put end caps on as the ends are very sharp. You also need to be sure and have enough brackets for support. Your local home store should cut them for you- mine did! Heres the link
post #10 of 12
I bought two of these:


but an earlier version that is bigger. They don't look too hard to make, some dowels and plywood. Mine are about 2.5 feet wide, and 2 feet tall, and have two "shelves" The shelves are about 3" deep, and can hold two, maybe 3 books. We have about 20-30 board books in them at any given time.
post #11 of 12
I read in an organizing book once that children find the book they want read to them by looking at the picture on the front. The author suggested putting their books in a dish drainer so they can flip through them to find what they're looking for without pulling them off a shelf where only the spines are visible.
post #12 of 12
And, if they aren't pulling the books off the shelf to see the fronts, the books'll stay neater with no extra effort.

Deep shelves is a bad idea because then smaller books'll end up pushed to the back. Deep shelves work for adults and older children, because we can "face" the bindings to the front.
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