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Yes! You can have a Library in your Basement

Do you have books lying around your home? Are they stacked on the corner of the kitchen table, teetering on the bed-stand, falling off the coffee table? Do they perch on the bathroom sink, hide beneath the bed, reside on top of the fridge? It may be time to create a home for your volumes! Why not convert that unused space in your basement into a comfortable and relaxing place to read and store your book collection. With a little planning and the following tips, you can have you own private library in your basement! 

  • Waterproof your basement: Moisture is the number one enemy of your book collection. Seal any cracks in the basement walls and floor with a high-viscosity polyurethane polymer. Apply waterproof paint to the walls to provide additional moisture protection. Check the window frames to see if they’re structurally sound and sealed. Walk around your house to ensure that the soil slopes away. Install downspouts to divert water and clean your gutters and window wells to keep water from pooling along the foundation. Make sure you have a working sump pump in your basement.
  • Purchase a dehumidifier: To reduce the possibility of mold, prevent your books pages from sticking and prolong the life of your collection, purchase and place a dehumidifier. 
  • Install shelving: Leave one wall free of shelving to create an open feel. Consider having a professional build floor to ceiling shelves. If your budget is limited, purchase second hand shelving. Multimedia shelves, made for DVDs, work great for paperbacks. Cube storage units are affordable and can be used to hold books. Floating shelves and wall units are also useful. Adjustable shelving lets you accommodate paperbacks and large coffee table books. Remember that books are heavy and any shelf 3 feet or longer should be at least 1 inch thick. 
  • Allow for future expansion: If you find book collecting fun and satisfying, allot space for future additions. 
  • Ensure there’s ample light: To reduce eyestrain and make reading enjoyable, be sure your library is well-lit. Install new or enlarge existing windows to supply natural light. Provide ambient lighting with recessed fixtures, track lighting or wall mounted units. Position floor lamps, pendant lights or desk lamps above or beside each spot in your seating area. Invest in halogen and/or fluorescent bulbs as they do a better job of illuminating reading material than incandescent bulbs. 
  • Provide comfortable seating: Create a warm cozy space by providing comfy furniture; a large plush recliner, a love seat, a soft couch, and/or bean bag chairs. Angle them toward each other to create a casual soothing atmosphere. Place end tables between seating to hold beverages, food and books! If you prefer a reading table, make sure the table and chair are the correct size and height for ease.
  • Decorate: Put framed images on the walls; an old newspaper cut-out, a painting, a photo of a favourite author. Choose a neutral wall colour to avoid distraction. Add colourful throw pillows, a soft blanket and a plush area rug. Place décor items that make your room feel personal. 
  • Organize your collection: Now comes the fun! Shelf your collection. Organize your books in a fashion that suits you; by genre, alphabetically, by author or even by colour! Stack your “to-read” pile convenient to your favourite chair. Place kids’ books where they can reach them. 

If you dream of having a place to escape from the world with a good book and your novels are collecting dust in teetering piles, it’s time to dust off the drafting board and plan a library in the basement. Create a personal reading oasis in your own home!When you’re ready to create the basement library of your dreams, call the Calgary basement experts, Econo Basements at (403) 768-0256 or email at They will help you design and finish your basement in a way that’s both beautiful and functional.