My Book Cart! | what is a book cart and how to use one

Ever since Matilda pulled her cart home from the library, stuffed with books, I’ve wanted my own portable bookshelf too.

Back in the years of 2018-2019, smaller versions of Matilda’s book carts were all the rage on bookish Instagram and YouTube! And after thinking about it for a long time I decided to get one about two years ago.

It sat in the corner for a long time becoming, essentially, a dumping ground of things that didn’t go anywhere else. It became a bit of a problem and even though there were some books on there, it wasn’t being used as I wanted it to be.

However, I tidied it up a few weeks ago. I’ve been using it every single day since then, for both books and journaling, and I love it! It’s definitely a purchase I will keep using – I’ve actually got to stop myself getting two…!

So, what is it?

Book carts, also known as TBR carts and library carts, are easily recognisable from the library. They were often the place you had to return your book to before they were reshelved or, sometimes, where the new releases were kept (so of course that’s what I made a beeline for… but that’s besides the point!). Sometimes book carts do look like Matilda’s, but they can also be the big, three-layered metal affairs you’ve probably seen around.

Nowadays, they’re often used by book lovers as a moveable bookshelf. People use them for different things, but most commonly they are for your TBR (to be read) to be kept before being read, or where your hauled (recently bought) books are put when they arrive!

My cart!

I have a mix on my book cart, so let’s break down what each shelf is:

Top shelf: this is where I keep the book I’m currently reading when I’m not reading it; my reading journal and some other journals; a copy of Black Beauty (my favourite book!) and a literature map of Britain.

Middle shelf: Library Bear lives here! I love having a Library Bear, he’s super cute. Anyway. I also keep my recently bought & unread books here, and they are moved to my general bookshelf when I’ve read them.

Bottom shelf: my most “stereotypical” book cart shelf, where I keep my lower level TBR books, my annotation kit, some magazines I want to read, and of course some cat treats for my kitty!

Why do I love it?

My book cart has given me a way to stay organised and have a system for my books. Before, books would stay on my shelf for ages because I’d often see something more interesting and pick that up. Now, it’s obvious what I need to read so I don’t get overrun with unread books!

I also don’t have a bedside table in my bedroom, so from a practical point of view it’s a really great way for me to keep my journals in an organised place – and not to lose my current read, which happens more than you think!

Do you want a book cart?!

Now you’ve seen how I use my book cart, are you going to get one?

The most common book cart nowadays does look a lot like mine (they’re actually craft carts!) but obviously there are others you can get. Mine is this mint green storage trolley from Hobbycraft:

Hobbycraft Mint Green Storage Trolley, £25

So, what do you think? If you did have a book cart (or if you already do!) how would you/do you use it?

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