You love that your child has a growing a book collection, but with more and more of them popping up, how on earth are you going to store them all? Worry not – I’ve surveyed some of my fellow children’s book-lovers for some tips and tricks to help you get organised in no time.
So this will be no great surprise, but bookshelves are a brilliant way of storing books for your little people. You may have some you’ve been storing your own books on you could use, or you might decide to buy some especially.
There are essentially two types you can go for:
1. The traditional style bookshelf where you stack books side by side with the spine facing out (these vary hugely in size and number of shelves)
2. A forward facing shelf (floor-standing or wall-mounted) in which books are stacked so you can see the front covers
Super-easy for little people to rummage in themselves, book boxes are great because they’re easy to move around the house too. We’ve always had a box of some description (I’m including a fabric trug here!) in the boys’ bedrooms, which means they’ve always had their own books on tap. You could be really fancy pants and get one on wheels – but be warned, it could quickly become a mode of transport for people and teddies rather than books!
If you’re short on space, or you don’t yet have the quantity of books to warrant a bookshelf or box, a book bag could be for you.
A simple fabric shopping bag will do the trick, or you could go-large with a reusable supermarket shopper! Not only does a book bag make it easy peasy to carry books between rooms, or even on an over-nighter to Grandma’s, but it’s also small enough to pop in a cupboard or under the sofa if you don’t want your lounge to look like a playroom 24/7.
I love this Miffy Book Bag (it can even be personalised!)
Put your hand up if you don’t have anything Ikea in your home? No one? I thought so! And the Ikea unit of choice for pretty much everyone I know with a child is the hugely versatile Kallax storage unit.
But did you know its cubbyholes make perfect bookshelves (unless, of course, you have the really tall coffee-table books, in which case – you’re doomed!). Make sure you put them at an accessible height for your little person so they can pick out – and put away – their chosen books.
Picture ledges are a really popular way of storing books right now – if you’re on Instagram you’ll have seen no end of them. The beauty is they enable children to see they cover of the book (instead of the spine) so it’s really easy for them to choose the books they want to read.
Ledges come in different lengths so you choose the right size for the space you have available, and you can have as few or as many as you like on a wall. The downside is you can’t fit many books on each ledge, so you’ll probably want to rotate books between the ledge and another storage system; some very organised people do this by season or theme (take a look at The Ladybirds’ Adventures to see how to do it like a pro!).
How to choose what set-up to go for
The book storage you choose will ultimately come down to the space you have available and the number of books you need to store. I asked members of my Parent Panel how they stored theirs, and here’s what they had to say:
Claire from The Ladybird’s Adventures
“We have bookcases in the kids’ rooms and also in our living room. We also have a basket of toys in our living room for the toddler that we put board books in so they are accessible.”
Sarah from Let Them Be Small
“Our books are stored on bookcases in their rooms and living rooms. I rotate the books from the upstairs and downstairs so we have different books for bedtime.”
Cassandra from Lily’s Little Learners
“I have two bookshelves for Lily: one stores all her board books and I made her a little book corner to sit and read those, and she has one bookshelf full of her paper books which we mostly read before bed.”
Laura, mummy to Amy
“We have activity books sorted into our toy box rotation system; there’s one push-pull-slide book, one flap book, one finger-trace book, etc in each toy box, which is rotated weekly. It’s like discovering new toys and books each week.
“Our general ‘story’ books are kept in a pull-along trolley from Aldi – with the spines upward so Amy can recognise which book she wants to pick out of the trolley.”
Jessica from A Norfolk Mummy
“We have a large magazine rack with board books downstairs, and two books shelves upstairs with paperbacks and bedtime stories.”
April from Prenderland Books
“My girls each have a bookcase from GLTC in their bedrooms, and we have a portable box for books downstairs.”
For more children’s books tips and recommendations, come and join lots of other book-loving parents in my free Early Years Book Group on Facebook. I can’t wait to see you there.
Amanda Overend set up Books & Pieces to make buying quality children’s books easy and affordable. She lives in Leicestershire with her three little boys (and one big one!).