Turn a Book into a Bookshelf

Too many books? Just shelve them.
  • Repurpose Book into Bookshelf

    Click through our slideshow for instructions on turning a book into a bookshelf.

    This summer, I went through boxes of books that were collecting dust in my parents' garage. I unearthed volumes from my childhood like Little House on the Prairie and a mini-biography of Florence Nightingale so worn that I was amazed it hadn't fallen apart. I wanted to keep these treasures, but I ran out of shelf space a long time ago—a problem any bibliophile can relate to. Even the Library of Congress, with 838 miles of shelves, has books piled on the floor and stacked on metal carts.
    Clearly, there are just too many books. E-readers were supposed to solve this problem, but they are hard to bond with and aren't necessarily better for the environment. I'd have to read a minimum of 40 volumes on one for it to be the greener choice, according to a life cycle assessment by Daniel Goleman and Gregory Norris in the New York Times. Most of my childhood library ended up at the thrift store, but I kept a few favorites. Since I can't shelve them, I drilled some brackets into the wall and turned them into actual shelves. It gives me more space, and best of all, the books are still intact, so I can reread them if I want to. Now that's a happy ending.

    Photo by Lori Eanes

  • Repurpose Book into Bookshelf

    What You'll Need:

    • Hardback book
    • Electric drill
    • 1 corner bracket (2")
    • 2 corner brackets (3 1/2")
    • Six steel flathead wood screws
    • Flathead screw driver
    • Ruler
    • Gloves
    • Goggles
    • 2 to 6 plastic anchors (optional)
  • Repurpose Book into Bookshelf

    Step 1: Decide where on the wall you want to attach the shelf. Measure the length of the book. Then measure this length out on the wall, marking the two end spots with a pencil. Next, measure and mark the points about 1½inch to 2 inches in from each side. This is where you will attach the 3½"-inch bottom brackets.

  • Repurpose Book into Bookshelf

    Step 2: Hold each bottom bracket against the wall and mark with a pencil where the holes of the bracket fall. Drill two holes for each bracket (drill with a smaller bit first, then enlarge the holes with a bit that has about the same circumference as the wood screws). If you find that you are just drilling through flimsy wall plaster, with no wood stud underneath, consider inserting some plastic anchors to give your shelf more support. This short video explains how to do it:http://on.aol.com/video/using-plastic-wall-anchors-19945118.

  • Repurpose Book into Bookshelf

    Step 3: Attach the two bottom brackets to the wall.

  • Repurpose Book into Bookshelf

    Step 4: Gently place the book on top of the two bottom brackets. Use a ruler to locate the halfway point and mark it with a pencil.

  • Repurpose Book into Bookshelf

    Step 5: Place the 2-inch top bracket on the book and mark where the two holes of the bracket fall. Remove the book and drill two holes.

  • Repurpose Book into Bookshelf

    Step 6: Attach the third bracket.

  • Repurpose Book into Bookshelf

    Step 7: Insert the book between the brackets and decorate with knickknacks.



You'll be drilling holes in the wall.


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