In the past, I’ve talked about creating reading nooks throughout the house to encourage our kids to read. If we surround our children with books and create cozy spots for reading, they’ll be more likely to read. Simple as that!
One fantastic way to encourage reading is to ensure our children can see the covers of their books, not just their spines. Rain gutter bookshelves are the perfect solution! I wish I could claim the idea as my own, but nonetheless, I have them in my house! My husband and I took a trip to Home Depot, and $50 and 2 hours later, we had rain gutter bookshelves.
Here’s how it looks:
The rain gutters are on the far wall. They do rise above my kids’ heads, but it hasn’t been a problem so far. They can either stand on a kid-sized chair or ask a parent to get any book that’s out of reach. Notice that I still have a regular bookshelf there. The rain gutter shelves only hold so many books, so I will regularly rotate out the books that sit on the rain gutters. Any library books will also go on the rain gutters.
These shelves achieved exactly the effect I was looking for. My kids were so excited to see their books! They spend much more time reading than they used to. It even worked with a 7-year-old friend who came over. Despite all the toys she knew were there, she chose to read.
If you’re looking to do this in your home, you might consider making 2 or 3 longer shelves instead of 4 short ones. The wall we put them on extends out only a few inches from what you see here, so we were limited. This would save you some money. Oddly enough, the actual 10-foot gutter was only $5. But at $7-10 each, the end caps and support hooks added up. So if we did two fewer shelves, we would have used fewer end caps and fewer hooks.
And just for fun, I’ll show you the rest of our playroom makeover. Our playroom is actually the formal living room in our house; it got very little use before the kids were born. Over the years, the kids have collected so many toys, and while the bins and bookshelves were great for a while, they just got too overwhelming. I even created little labels with the name of the bin and a picture of the bin category, so anybody who can’t read the label can see the picture. But the toys and books just started overflowing, and I was the only one who put the toys in their appropriate bins.
My solution? Repurpose the armoire that used to hold our old TV (before we got a flat screen). Thanks, Mom, for convincing me not to get rid of it! It’s amazing how many toys fit in that thing! Almost every single toy you see in the “before” picture is in the armoire. The mini-trampoline got relegated to the garage, as did the Lincoln Logs that collected dust. But everything else is there!
As embarrassed as I am, here’s the before picture (in all its messy glory):
And here’s the after!
There’s still a box of trucks on the floor that I need to get another bin for. It turns out that Bed Bath & Beyond no longer sells the bins I use, so I have to decide if I’m okay getting a bin that looks slightly different than all the others. I suppose that now that they’re all in the armoire, it doesn’t matter much.