The Magical Art of Moving with Too Many Books

Posted by Kristina Pino

As someone who has just had to move twice in as many months, I can tell you right now that I'm intimately acquainted with the struggle of moving books. Nothing is worse than having to reconfigure your book collection to a new layout or a place that can't accomodate as many bookshelves (quel horreur!). I used to be the kind of person who thought there was no such a thing as too many books, but my back and sanity disagree. Next time you want to move your massive book collection to a new place, here are some tips to keep you sane.


Have A Game Plan Going In

My books weren't shelved in any particular order at the house I grew up in. I generally shelved them according to their height or how I felt about them (books I wanted to display versus books I'd shelve in my closet, for example). That hasn't changed—I still don't have them shelved in any particular order, but I did make a few adjustments, namely: keeping art books, comics, and graphic novels in their own sections, shelving hardbacks together (because they look gorgeous), and creating the ever-necessary TBR shelf.

The TBR shelf is key. One of the problems I've run into, and I'm sure many of you know my struggle, is my penchant for buying books before I have time to read them. A sizable chunk of my collection is sitting on the shelf, unloved and unread. You don't want your books to feel unloved, right? So put them somewhere prominent and get cracking.

It's also not a bad idea to buy bookcases with adjustable shelving. If you arrange your books by size, you can just adjust the shelves by height and make the most out of that space. 

Here are some suggestions if you're looking for more unique methods of shelving:

  1. By color
  2. Make book spine poetry
  3. Pair up your authors by dream teams or main character dream teams
  4. Location (either story location or author's country of origin)
  5. Display your favorite covers front-facing, like in bookstores
  6. More fun ideas


Stay Vigilant To The Plan

Be strong. It may be tempting to fill in a gap in your comics shelf with some paperbacks so you can stuff more books in there. That's a recipe for disorganization, lost books, and less-than-optimal shelfies. Make a plan, and stick to it. And if you end up with any unsightly gaps, fill them with figures, statues, plushies, etc. The gap in one of my comics shelves, for example, is held by a Funko Pop! plush Batman.

Think Outside the Bookshelf

Not too long ago, I wrote a bit about how to cull your collection. Towering book stacks around your home are no good for anyone, so if you don't have space on your shelves, it's time to get creative. Here are some of my suggestions for where to stash books you simply can't let go, but also can't find an obvious space for:

  1. Turn a linen or pantry closet into a hideaway library 
  2. Repurpose old DVD/CD shelves
  3. Display your books under a piece of glass on a coffee table or desk 
  4. Get creative with your interpretation of shelves: windowsills, stairs, top of the kitchen cabinets. As long as it's organized (per our first two steps), books can be fabulous decor.


Suffer from #toomanybooks and have a favorite stash or hidey-hole in your home? Let us know your method to the madness at @QuirkBooks!