A Minimalist Library: Is it possible? – 5 Examples

Most minimalists love books, so it makes sense that we question whether the concept of minimalism and a library can work together.

When the definition of a library is a large collection of books, it’s understandable why some would think they can’t work together – in fact, a ton of books that you may rarely read almost seems like the antithesis of a minimalist mindset.

However, the truth is that you can make a library minimal if you really want to. Let’s look at a few different layouts that you can opt for if you want to create a reading space in your home.

Minimalism and books: What does a minimalist library look like anyway?

Minimalist Library 1: Use a whole wall


One of the better ways you can create a space for your books is to use a whole wall for your bookshelves, preferably in a cosy room that can also be used for reading. Then, you can make sure that your home has a solid space that you can sit down and spend a few hours browsing your favorite books in.

Minimalist Library 2: Keeping it small


If you only have a small collection of books that you need to store, it can be a good idea to opt for some small bookshelves instead of going all the way and building yourself a library.

A small and simple bookshelf in your home could be everything you need to store your books. You can opt for a bookshelf without ends if you want to go with a truly minimalist design.

Minimalist Library 3: Having Faith in White


One thing is for certain in a minimalist home – white can make up the majority of your room, and it usually will do if you want to keep things minimal. You can use other neutral colors too, but in most cases a solid white background makes a fantastic choice.

The good thing about this is that you can then use the books as “accent colors” for your room to break things up.

Minimalist Library 4: Go for Style


Though it may not fit with the local library look that many people have in mind, you can also consider a minimalist style shelf that can be used for everything – not just your books. By adding in objects between the books on your shelf, you can store all of the excess things that you’re not quite ready to get rid of yet.

Of course, this depends on how many books you need to find space for. However, it can definitely make for an attractive addition to any living room or additional space.

Minimalist Library 5: Opt for a Single Shelf


If you have the space, a single long bookshelf could be the solution you need if you have hundreds of books that you’d like to store in your home. This way, you can use both sides of the bookshelf to store your beloved novels and literature, which can allow you more space to work with.

Should You Consider Other Ways of Reading Books?

Though the modern home library ideas above are amazing, there’s an elephant in the room that hasn’t been addressed. Should you even consider buying physical books in the modern age? After all, they are material possessions, which is something that we’re meant to be avoiding.

This is where e-books can make a great alternative. Ebooks give us the opportunity to collect an unlimited amount of books without worry about how we’re going to find room for them in our house. They can be a great way to save space and even save money, as an extensive book collection can become pretty expensive.

In my opinion, it’s best to find a balance of both of these – I have both a small minimalist library filled with my favorite business and philosophy books, but I also use my Kindle for reading fiction books too. This kind of balance allows book lovers to have their favorite books in print, whilst also not taking up whole rooms in your home.

The truth is that how you do minimalism is completely up to you. There are no specific standards that you need to meet, and if minimalist books and your own library are important to you, there’s nothing wrong with going ahead and setting one up.


All in all, though the terms minimalism and library may not really go together, it is possible for you to have a minimalist library in your home. As long as the books you fill your home with are actually useful and get read, then there’s no issue with giving them a space in your house.

Whether it’s self care books or books about slowing down, no matter your book collection, it’s possible to set a library up in your own home. Though you may not want a traditional library, if you’re a book lover it can be a great resource for you to learn from.