This Vertical Bookshelf Is the Best Way to Store a Ton of Kids’ Chapter Books

updated Jan 16, 2024
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design within reach story bookcase in pineapple, tomato, sky colors. Lifestyle shot of tomato bookcase in a room
Credit: Design Within Reach

Is your kid’s room small on space but big on books? I hear you! My 9-year-old is a voracious reader, and she has amassed quite the book collection. (Her favorite series right now are The Bookwanderers, The Mysterious Benedict Society, and The Vanderbeekers.) But in the current setup, her room doesn’t have wall space for a wide bookshelf. The solution? We went vertical!

Credit: Cambria Bold

My Favorite Vertical Bookshelf for Kids’ Rooms

I’d had my eye on DWR’s Story Bookcase for years. This heavy, powder-coated steel shelf comes in great colors like Tomato (a rusty red), Pineapple (a bright yellow), and Sky (a beautiful pale blue). It’s extremely sturdy, both at the standard 5-foot height and the taller 6-foot height, and can fit a lot (like, a lot) of books. The shelves can be rotated, too — you can face them all out, or alternate one facing out, one facing side, as shown above.

I was very fortunate to find two Story bookcases on Craigslist a few years ago, and now they’re both in my daughter’s room. She packs 80+ chapter books on the standard-sized one (more on the tall version!) but they only take up 15 inches of floor space! It’s easy for her to reach all her books, too, which is the advantage of a freestanding vertical bookshelf over a wall-mounted one like this. Neither bookcase is at all wobbly or tippy, but they do come with wall-anchoring hardware and a safety strap for extra assurance.

Eventually we may rearrange her room and find space for a traditional bookshelf, at which point I know I can easily move the Story bookcases to another part of the house. (In fact, when I first purchased the bookcases, I kept one in the kitchen to hold cookbooks!)

This article has been updated from its original publication in March 2023.