TBR Carts Are A Thing That Can Make Your Life Better

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TBR Carts Are A Thing That Can Make Your Life Better

By Sumaiyya Naseem (@sumaiyya.books)

A few months ago, a great tragedy befell me. As I settled into my new room at home, I went through the comforting and satisfying task of shelving my books. Life had other, more painful plans for me. For reasons that can only be twisted and evil, my shelves collapsed and left me with no choice but to pack up the books I’d already read into boxes. As the weeks passed, my To Be Read pile grew taller and wider on top of my study desk. As someone who dreams of having her own library room one day, it was painful to see boxes in the corner with a broken shelf next to them. During the last few months, I’ve truly missed waking up to the sight of a full bookshelf. But things have changed for the better.

Two weeks ago my Mom gifted me a teal colored cart from IKEA for my books. I’d mentioned the cart before and she, being the amazing mom she is, remembered my wish. This was the birth of my TBR cart; a truly bookish and original concept found on Bookstagram that restored the bookshelf aesthetic that my room was missing. These days it brings me actual joy to wake up and see a cart full of books sitting at a proper place.


So, what is a TBR cart? It’s typically a trolley with 3-4 levels in which you can arrange your books as you like. As seen on #TBRcart, this is definitely an idea that’s slowly picking up around Bookstagram. I joined the TBR cart family two weeks ago, and most recently my brother @theguywiththebook set up his own TBR cart (thanks again Mom!)

Here are a few reasons to consider joining the bandwagon and getting a cart for your books:

1.  It’s a bookshelf on wheels.

Whether you have a small collection, like borrowing books from the library or simply don’t have wall space; a cart will function like a bookshelf on wheels. Your own personal mobile library for home!

2. It’s a great way to organize the tbr.

The best use that I’ve noticed so far is for arranging the TBR books. These are usually the books that most booklovers like to keep in one place or shelf. I arrange my cart as follows: top most level for priority books, middle level for my thriller and mystery novels, bottom level for everything else on my tbr.

3. It brings instant bookish aesthetic to any room.

Your cart will instantly add a fun bookish element to any room. It doesn’t take up permanent wall space and can be placed wherever you want.

4. Perfect if you like snacking while reading.

On my second day of having a cart I realized that there was enough space behind the books to keep my favorite reading snacks (dry fruits and caramel toffees!!). It’s the perfect hiding place!

5. It functions like a tray.

The cart also functions like a tray on which I can keep my mug of tea or coffee while I read.

6. A faithful prop trolley.

Whenever I need to do a photoshoot I fill up my cart with whatever items I need (like my camera/phone, candles, matchsticks, bookmarks) and just push the trolley to the room or spot where I’ll do my photoshoot. I don’t have to worry about making multiple trips to my storage!

Not yet convinced? I spoke to some Bookstagrammers and here’s what they said about their experience:


Jeana Quigley (@hotcocoareads)

“Most of us book lovers think every room is better stacked with books - except the bathroom because moisture and steam can damage books. With a rolling book cart, we can wheel the book cart in before we take a bath and want to choose a book, then roll it back out when we're finished. Plus, there's usually room for a drink, flowers and some candles too!”


Lindsey Schwarz (@readingbetweenthe_wines)

“I'm constantly rotating books in and out, but for the most part the top shelf is reserved for ARCs with release dates in the current/next month and other books that are at the very top of my TBR. I use the middle shelf for all the ARCs with release dates more than a month out. The bottom shelf is for books that I've read, but still need to review. I've found this system to be extremely helpful, and it means less books piling up on the floor!”


Charlott Schönwetter (@half_book_and_co)

“My tbr cart sits right next to my armchair, one row non-fiction, one row fiction, and one row of books I am currently reading; nestled inbetween is my collection of bookmarks. Everything is cozy, close by, and sorted. (And yes, I just find the book cart aesthetically very pleasing.)”


Faroukh Naseem (@theguywiththebook)

“Bottom level will be used for books on my immediate tbr (I expect this to reshuffle quite a bit!). Mid level will be of books I need to take pictures of in the coming days. Top level will have my current read, a candle and some snacks, bookworms are a hungry lot!”


About the Author


Sumaiyya Naseem is a bibliophile from Saudi Arabia, and while she reads a bit of everything she has a keen interest in women’s fiction and immigrant stories. She shares her literary journey on Instagram (@sumaiyya.books) and is a freelance editor specializing in narratives set in Saudi Arabia. Sumaiyya is passionate about the written word and dreams of writing her own story one day.

Find her here:


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