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Bye-bye, boring bookcase: Inventive ways to store your reads

Discover book storage as wild as a thriller's plot twists and as useful as a how-to manual.

We've talked endlessly about "the book problem"; one contributor even referred to Overreaders Anonymous. Sure, using her tips to declutter is one way to go. You can also buy a standard bookcase. But we've got four creative tips and plenty of outrageous examples of unusual "bookcases" that add some dazzle to those tomes. Let's dive in.

1. Consider a multipurpose piece. Coffee tables, beds, chairs — all of them are just waiting for clever overreaders to rethink them as alternatives to the bookcase.

For example, the Ofo. It almost redefines what we mean when we call a chair a Lazy Boy. That's because from this undulating seat, you can reach around for a book. No getting up necessary. It comes in a variety of colors and is made by Maria and Igor Solovyov, industrial designers in Belarus

Bibliochaise is made in Milan by a duo whose issue may sound familiar — "Twelve years ago, we lived in a tiny flat full of books but with nowhere to sit" — the Bibliochaise solved their problem.

Available from SJ Studios in Santa Monica, California, the chair comes in a black or white finish with cotton or leather cushions in hundreds of colors. And it is on wheels. Thankfully. The name of the designers' studio is Nobody&co; the chair is available in Europe and Hong Kong.

2. Convert empty spaces to book storage. Wherever you look, there is air waiting to be filled. Or clogged with books. But do it neatly.

Clever points for this solution, from Thatcher Wine of Juniper Books in Boulder, Colorado. Thatcher is obsessed with finding solutions for many residential libraries (and hotels). Here he takes advantage of stairs.

Here we see the ceiling beams being used ingeniously. Another space that was waiting to be filled. And right in the kitchen — a room not often thought about for books.

3. Forget the ho-hum shelf. No need to go straight-on rectangular or square. Use your imagination or use a product designer's imagination for a statement-piece bookshelf.

Here the bookcase frames stained glass and a view.

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