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10 Bookshelves and Bookcases for Small Spaces

If you think it's impossible to fit a bookshelf in a small room, think again. Check out our favorite problem-solving bookshelves for small spaces.

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Bookshelf in a small officeeclipse_images/Getty Images

Saving Space with Bookshelves and Bookcases

Furnishing a small space requires creativity, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to finding the right bookcase. A bulky traditional bookcase makes a small room feel cramped.

But don’t give up on your book storage dreams just yet! There are a few tricks to squeezing a bookcase or set of bookshelves into a small room.

Obviously, first choose a piece that isn’t too large. A small or narrow bookcase is easier to fit in awkward nooks and corners. Your bookcase or bookshelves should also have a simple design; anything too ornate will add visual clutter to a small space. A multi-functional piece, like a table or seat with built-in shelves, also helps save space by working as two furniture pieces in one.

We’ve gathered up our favorite bookshelves for small spaces. Each one solves a problem unique to small living.

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Takes Up Minimal Floor Space

This skinny book tower easily fits almost anywhere. The 11 shelves hold a large quantity of books without taking up much space. Basically, wherever you can fit a stack of books, you can fit this sturdy tower. The thin shelves ensure that your books are visually the star of the show.

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Can Be Arranged to Fit Any Wall Space

Wall shelves are a great alternative to a bookcase. They don’t take up any floor space, but limited wall space can also be a challenge in a small room.

This set of bookshelves can be arranged to fit your needs. If you have a narrow strip of wall, stack them vertically. Only have space above a door? Hang them horizontally across the top of the door frame. They can go anywhere!

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Utilizes an Unused Corner

Don’t forget about unused corners! They’re a great out-of-the-way spot for a bookcase. This corner bookcase has triangular shaped shelves to wedge into corners for a perfect fit. The open airy design also ensures it doesn’t add visual clutter.

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Blends into Decor

This tree bookcase fits just about anywhere thanks to its narrow footprint. But because of the stylish sculptural design. it also works as an art piece. So it looks great displayed in a small room, adding to the decor instead of creating clutter.

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Fits on Top of a Desk

If you have no available floor or wall space, this desktop bookshelf could be the solution. Put it on a desk, nightstand or end table. We love the scroll work that adds a touch of elegance to your decor, while also functioning as book storage. You can get desks for small spaces, too.

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Easy to Move

A piece of furniture with wheels functions well in a small space because it can be moved out of the way when needed. This metal bookcase cart can be rolled against a wall or used as a room divider. If the room starts to feel cramped when guests visit, simply move it aside. Note: Two of the wheels are lockable.

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Invisible Bookshelf LeadFamily Handyman

Uses Minimal Wall Space

The walls in a small room might already be filled with artwork or other tall pieces of furniture, which is why you need bookshelves that don’t require too much space wall space. And what bookshelves take up less real estate than invisible ones? These fun, DIY no-shelf book shelves take up only as much space as your actual books.

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Provides Two Functions in One

Need a bookshelf for a small playroom or kids room? This bookshelf seat for kids serves two purposes, so you need fewer pieces of furniture. Your kids will love sitting down to read, with all their favorite books within arm’s reach in the five storage cubbies.

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Has a Narrow Profile

If bookshelves are too wide, they can jut out from the wall and make the room feel cramped. These narrow book ledges solve the problem. Their shallow profile doesn’t impede on the open space of the room. The pack of four can be hung on any available wall, in the best arrangement to fit your needs.

If you’d prefer to make picture ledges yourself, here’s how.

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Works as a Room Divider

If you have a small studio or open floor plan, consider a bookshelf to function as the room divider. Float this open stair-step bookshelf out into the room to provide book storage while also dividing your space into cozy, functional zones.

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Erica Young
Erica Young is a freelance writer and content creator, specializing in home and lifestyle pieces. She loves writing about home decor, organization, relationships, and pop culture. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.