Two London readers who needed somewhere quiet to enjoy their books rented self storage spaces and turned them in to private libraries.
The rooms were shelved to keep their books tidy and comfortable chairs were moved in.
The readers - who didn’t know each other and coincidentally rented self storage at centres only a few mile apart - did not have to worry about heating and lighting bills because these were included in their rental costs.
“They used to appear almost every day to read their books, because these units not only offer extra space, but they’re quiet as well,” said Rodney Walker, chief executive of the Self Storage Association.
Turning over a new leaf
Setting up your own library in a self storage centre is ideal. The rooms have climate control that keeps any valuable volumes free from damp or condensation. The long hours and every day opening at storage facilities give readers plenty of time to relax in solitude to enjoy their books.
The readers also win from clearing out space at home - perhaps for new books or just to declutter. Advantages for older readers include exercising on their walk from home to the storage centre, friendly staff to have a chat, and tea and coffee ffrom reception.
Covering all areas
A library is just one imaginative use for a storage room, but people can come up with lots of ideas to clear out their homes and give over the extra space to other purposes as their domestic priorities change.
Self storage space is not expensive. The smallest rooms start at about £8 a week and are on easy-going contracts that mean you can move out in a week. If you are storing a collection that is growing, you can up size at any time and is a lot cheaper than moving home.
Hints and tips: Self storage for books and documents
- Find a climate controlled storage unit to prevent damp or condensation
- Wrap a plain paper dust cover round the book to stop them sticking together on shelves
- Oppose the spines if you are backing books in boxes to stop bending
- Slip cardboard or thin wood between magazines to stop them warping