What Happens When You Run Out Of Bookshelf Space

by Julia Seales

As a book lover, what do you do when you run out of space for your books? After graduating college, I started buying lots of books. From the bargain bin at my local store, to secondhand shops, I found so many deals and beautiful covers that I just couldn’t resist. And since I wasn’t living in a dorm anymore, I would have plenty of room to store them all… right? Wrong. My childhood bookshelf was already overflowing. My second bookshelf was full of an eclectic collection, which I couldn’t bear to sell.

What is a book-lover to do?? I grew up desperate to have a library just like the one in Beauty and the Beast . I figured I would start with one like in the bookshop, with a sliding ladder, and eventually have a two-story book mansion complete with winding staircases and emerald green curtains. Or, I would live in an old Victorian house complete with a tower, where I would stack all of my books.

Instead, I ended up with piles of paperbacks scattered around my room.

If you love buying hard copies of books, you’ve probably reached this point in your reading life. The point when you realize that you no longer have space on your bookshelf to keep up with the books that somehow follow you home. So, what’s a book-lover to do?

You Refuse To Believe You Have No Space

You return from the bookstore with yet another purchase in hand, and go to place it on your shelf after reading it quickly. And then you realize: there's no more space. Wait. What? How could this happen? You specifically got an extra tall bookshelf so this would not be the case! And yet somehow... here you are. Holding the extra book.

You Reorganize Your Shelf To Try And Fit More Books

Maybe if you mix things around, you'll somehow be able to fit more books onto your shelf. It's all about organization, right? You start shuffling things around. You take all the books off your shelves and put them back on again. And yet. Somehow, you still have no space.

You Start Getting ~Creative~ With Book Storage

You could store your books under your bed in cute bins, couldn't you? And this stack here could be a decorative addition to your dresser. Come to think of it, do you really need to fill your dresser with clothes? Because those shelves could hold a lot of books...

Your Entire Room Turns Into A Library

There are books in your closet. Books on the floor. Books in your bed. You don't hate it that much.

You Decide It's Time To Get Rid Of Some

Finally, you have to be honest with yourself. It's time to fix this storage problem once and for all. You'll just have to sort through your books, and decide which ones to keep, and which ones to give away. After all, surely there must be SOME books that you don't need any more, right?

...But You Can't Part With Any Of Them

Wrong. You can't imagine parting with any of your beloved books! You're trying to build a library here, dang it! How could you possibly get rid of your paperback collection of Magic Tree House books?

You Get Distracted Re-reading Old Favorites

Speaking of Magic Tree House, you haven't read it in a while. Maybe you should just take a quick peek. Oh, and look! A Series of Unfortunate Events! It's rereading time.

You Finally Get It Together And Take Your Old Books To A Used Bookstore

Ok. You've reread everything. You've sorted through all of your books. You finally, FINALLY have a ~small~ stack to take to the used bookstore. Though it pains you to part with any books, you know it's time that someone else enjoyed this particular piece of your collection.

And Then Leave With More Books Than You Came With

Immediately after dropping off the books you're getting rid of, a stack of novels catches your eye. You've been meaning to read that one for forever...

Before you know it, you've purchased more books than you got rid of.

You Finally Give In And Buy Another Bookshelf

You finally give in: you're not a one-bookshelf type person. And that's okay. Eventually, you'll have enough bookshelves to line all four walls with, so you can be completely surrounded by books. With an endgoal like that, why even bother trying to remedy overflowing shelves? You don't see the issue any more.

Images: Stocksy; Giphy (10), Warner Bros. Television (1)