With time, for a book lover, your bookshelf may be full and can no longer accomodate new collections. Sometimes you may find that you do not have space to accommodate a bookshelf or even incurring costs for a standard bookshelf.
Vast house basements, ceilings, and garages may seem like the perfect places to store books, but since they are prone to moisture and drastic temperature changes, books should be kept away from such areas.
Precious Nabadda, a nursery school teacher lives in a two roomed house with her family members.
She systematically arranges her books on the television stand, coffee table and the floor among other areas in the house where she easily accesses them.
However, she warns that this kind of arrangement requires regular care in terms of re-arranging and dusting the books.
Are you like Nabadda?
It’s time to get creative and use the available space as artistically as possible. Here are a few ideas for you.
Books can be arranged vertically on the floor close to walls and wall wedges.
Nabadda warns that book placement areas should be well protected from moisture, the biggest destroyer of books.
She adds that high temperature places may also make book pages brittle hence a need to consider the conduciveness of temperature for your books.
“For books, air circulation is a must as it protects book pages and covers from moulds hence a need for spacing among your books,” she advises.
“Books kept on the floor ought to be often re-arranged for cleaning to take place. You should try as much as possible to keep books with similar sizes next to each other to avoid toppling,” Nabadda adds.
To avoid the tedious work of searching for a single book among the whole stack, regularly read or more important books must be kept on top for easy access.
Stools and unutilised chairs
Furniture, especially tables and benches, have ample space underneath them which in most cases goes unutilised.
In this case, pile the books in such un-utilised space and they will be safe from intruders including toddlers.
The coffee table is also a very good book keeper especially where it is not frequently used at home.
A book lover in need of extra space for books can as well pile books on stools and chairs once they are not in use.
“I have seen many photos of books on chairs and stools, I chose to do the same for my books at my single roomed hostel. It is safer and ensures the books more accessible,” says Joseph Kiyingi, a Bachelors in Education student from Kyambogo University.
He adds that when visitors come and need the stools and chairs to sit, you can place those books in some other space.
Below the bed
“We used to put our old school exercise books in boxes and then push them under the bed when we were young, and when I grew up, I embraced the same idea with my novels, magazines and other books,” says Kiyingi
Kiyingi adds that in this way, books are safely protected as they are out of sight to intruders and a lot of space is saved.
However since the floor level attracts dust more than other areas in the house, boxes with books ought to be covered with a cloth or polythene.
Meanwhile the storage boxes ought to be placed on a somewhat raised platform, most preferably wooden surface to protect them from moisture that can spoil the books.
Cupboards and kitchen cabinets tops are used to keep utensils, but they have flat tops on which a good number of books can be kept.
Books can also be kept in unutilised cabinets. Such places are warm and can protect books from moisture.
“I keep some of my books in the kitchen cabinets, and since I spend much time in the kitchen, I easily access them for reading while doing my work in the kitchen,” says Nakachwa.
The bedroom has many places where books can be kept and among those is the bedside table that most people use for cups, glasses among others.
Sandra Nakachwa, a former student at Uganda Bible Society, started by keeping her Bible and a notebook where she quotes verses on the bedside table.
As time went on, she picked interest in reading and started buying books, she could not think of any other place to keep them other than the same bedside table.
After collecting a large number, books could no longer fit on the table.
Nakachwa decided to get rid of the table and only arrange books in the space that with time reached the level of a table.
She currently uses the flat top of the stacked books as a table.
“This space can keep quite a number of books as long as you arrange them well according to their sizes,” Nakachwa says.