Why TikTok Recommends Investing In A Book Cart Instead Of A Bookshelf

Let's set the scene: Overflowing bookshelves. A pile of books on your bedside table. Stacks of paperbacks sliding across your kitchen countertop. Sound familiar? Bookworms know that a reader's job is never done, and no matter how many books you own, there's always more to buy. Every eagerly-anticipated release means a couple hundred pages to add to your existing inventory. Even if you're good about cleaning out your stash by dropping off your overflow copies at a second-hand bookstore, the reality is that those novels add up! Without the luxury of a library (or maybe just built-in bookshelves), those books inevitably take up a lot of real estate — even more so if you live in a one or two-bedroom. And sure, there are things like Kindle and Audible, but physical copies are so much more fun. So, what's a reader short on space to do?

TikTok has the perfect solution and, no, it doesn't involve ladder shelves. As it turns out, book carts are replacing bookshelves as the trend of the moment. Leave the immaculate library BookTok reels in 2023, because 2024 is all about investing in book carts that give you more room than you thought.

As with bookshelves, you can stack books on your cart both vertically and horizontally to max out space. But unlike shelves, carts allow you to stack books behind books; additionally, you can easily move or reposition the cart however you like. Win-win!

BookTok is obsessed with book carts

Type "book carts" into TikTok and you'll quickly see just how much readers love them. On TikTok, creators are encouraging their followers to use book carts and outlining the ways that book carts trump bookshelves. For starters, book carts are less bulky than bookshelves. And while some bookshelves can be tricky to assemble, book carts are screw-free, easy to build, and sturdy enough to last for a while. Plus, they can be a much cheaper alternative to your standard bookshelf.

One of the pros of book carts is their potential to visually organize your books. For example, readers are turning to them to showcase their "To Be Read" (TBR) books. Of course, you can do this on a bookshelf too, but utilizing the two different sides of the book cart means you can position your next read front-and-center while putting something further down your TBR list on the other side.

If you're sold on carts, BookTok has your back. To get the best bang for your buck, you may want to consider this three-tiered rolling cart from The Container Store, retailing for just $40. It's a go-to option for lots of bookstagrammers, although the drawback is it can only hold around 6 pounds per shelf. Another option like Wayfair's Christiern Single-Sided Mobile book cart holds more weight but is more expensive. Ultimately, your taste in book carts, like your taste in books, is unique to you. That's what makes it fun!

Book carts are for TBRs

This is mentioned above, but book carts deserve a special shout-out for the way they're not just storing your books, but organizing them. And by this, we mean TBR lists. Readers love to talk TBRs, so much so that TBRs can be more of a conversation starter than someone's current read. And BookTok users are specifically using their book carts for TBRs. As detailed in a Penguin article, the creator behind @booked_up discovered the magic of book carts while she was moving. While her TBR list was hundreds of books long, having a cart stacked with a few books for her to prioritize was "another way of organization" that "helped [her] focus."

Because readers get so excited about upcoming book releases, they're often buying books faster than they can read them. And when these books get put into libraries or other shelves, they get lost in the shuffle. Indeed, TikTok user @booksonthebedside suggested owning a book cart made her more intentional about her book buys. Keeping a book cart in a small, highly visible space — say, next to your bed — means you'll always be looking at your next planned read. With a book cart on hand, you may actually cross some TBRs off your list. An added bonus of the book cart? It's highly Instagrammable, and TikTok users love posting reels that flaunt their TBR collection. If you're all about that GoodReads reading challenge, you may want to invest in this not-so-hidden gem.