Making a floorplan for your used bookstore is easy with a few basic suggestions for laying out your store. There is no need to hire a professional decorator if you just take a little time and consider the following tips.

Things You Will Need
  • Shelving

  • Paint

  • Lights

  • Posters

  • Baskets

Step 1.

Think warm. Your bookshop should provide customers with a calm and relaxing feel. Paint the walls a rich, warm color. Install sturdy but pleasing carpet to soften footfalls. Be sure the lighting is strong enough to read by without being glaring and intrusive. The overall effect should be safe, cuddly and homey.

Step 2.

Put your checkout counter parallel to a sidewall, facing towards the door. It is best to install an L-shaped checkout counter that allows you to stand behind it and see not only the door, but also the rest of the store.

Step 3.

Place 6-foot-high shelves along most of the available wall space (sides and back of the store). You may choose to leave certain sections of the wall open in order to hang artwork, colorful maps and posters of movies which will add to the ambiance of the store.

Step 4.

Create sections by building 4-foot shelves parallel to the wall shelves. The sections can be anywhere from 4 to 6 feet wide. For children's sections, create an even wider space--10 to 12 feet, if you have the room.

Step 5.

Place half shelves staggered throughout the center of the store. These shelves should be no higher than 4 feet each. Use these shelves to stock newer titles and titles of particular community interest. Use the tops of these shelves to place baskets of bookmarks and other novelty items.

Step 6.

Add a revolving rack here and there throughout the store. Use these racks for specific genre items or for postcards, greeting cards and stationery items. Place a rack near the checkout counter so that customers can browse the rack while standing in line.


Be sure to place appealing genre labels on the shelf sections. Consider having a local artist make small signs for each section. You can offer to showcase their artwork in your store in exchange.


Steer clear of clutter. Keep your books and paperwork organized. Your customers' focus should be on the books for sale, not the business.