Buying My First Ever Book Cart–What Color Did I Choose?

I have always admired these adorable little carts and I’ve always wanted to add a small TBR book cart to my office area. I’m not sure why book carts are sometimes called TBR carts. I’m guessing TBR stands for To Be Read. Does anyone know if that’s what TBR means? I tried to search online to see if that’s what TBR means, but couldn’t find anything about that.

Anyway, I love these little rolling carts! They often come in the happiest colors and are really multi-functional. This aqua totally makes my heart sing but sadly, the color just wouldn’t work anywhere in my home. If I had a beach cottage though…

3-shelf book cart


I’m not sure what sent me off on a Book Cart chase this weekend, I must have seen something somewhere that reminded me I’ve been wanting to buy one. In any case, I had so much fun scoping out what’s available and was delighted to see that most of the carts are super affordable and a lot of them are on sale right now.

For the purpose of this post, I’m just going to refer to these carts as book carts, but they can be used for almost anything from holding cleaning supplies to bathroom storage to bar carts to even holding items needed in a dining area when entertaining. I saw a photo online where someone did that and thought it was genius!

This cute cart below comes in 6 different colors. Most of the carts I’m sharing today come in an array of different colors, so if you see a cart that you love, check it out because it’s probably available in several colors.

Cute utility cart, 3-shelf cart


I love it in red! Wish I had a place to use it in this color–soooo cute! It’s also available in blue, gray, black, pink, and white as seen above. You can see it in all the available colors here: 3-Level Rolling Book/Utility Cart.

Red Book Cart


This one is designed slightly differently with a long handle across the back. You’ll find it available in several colors here: Book-Utility Cart. Be sure and check the measurements since some have wider shelves than others.


I discovered they also come in 4-tier designs! (This style is available in 7 colors here: 4-Tier Book Cart.

4-shelf cart for books, supplies


Here’s a completely different style that’s also a 4-level design. I really like this sleek design for a kitchen area, or even for a closet.

4-shelf cart for kitchen or books


Here’s how it looks in Pink. It’s available here: 4-level Rolling Book Cart.

Pink book or utility cart, 4-shelf


I was super tempted by this pale green color since I do have green in my office. This cart is also available in grey, pink, and white here: Rolling Cart for Books, Storage.



I really like this cart, but not sure it would work well for books. I would love it in a kitchen, though! It’s available here: Wood and Metal 3-Tiered Cart.


3 shelf wood and metal cart


Another one that caught my eye–I like the bamboo trays! It’s available here: Cart with Bamboo Trays.

3-shelf bamboo wood and metal cart


This was the only book cart I saw in true blue and I love the color! It’s available here: Blue Book or Utility Cart.


So which one did I buy? I couldn’t resist this bright, sunshine yellow!

Yellow 3-shelf book cart, utility cart


Yellow is one of my favorite colors and I thought it would work in my office with my yellow buffalo-check drapes.

Home Office, Pottery Barn Bedford Furniture


Also, I have a lot of yellow in the guest room…

White Teddy Bear Style Pumpkin


…where I just added another bookshelf.

Styling Bookshelf with Fashion Books, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel


But mostly I just picked this one because I love the color so much. If you could use a sunny, yellow book cart, this one is available here: Sunshine Yellow Book Cart.  It’s also available in a beautiful teal-blue color. Update: Sadly, this cart looked nothing like this when it arrived so I returned it. It was  pastel yellow color, not this beautiful sunshine yellow color seen in the ad. Plus, all the trays were plastic, despite the description saying the cart was primarily made of metal. I’m back on the hunt for another book cart.

Yellow 3-shelf book cart, utility cart


I have a feeling this won’t be the last little cart I buy, they just seem like they would be so convenient to keep on hand. I would love one in white to use on the screened porch when I’m entertaining out here in the spring and summer.

Spring Dining on the Porch


I’m thinking about buying a black one for my son to store all his car washing goodies in. He regularly washes his car and I think it would be so convenient to have everything in one place. He could roll it right out of the garage to where he washes his car in the driveway.  This black one is available here: Black Utility Cart.


This one would work, as well! It’s available here: Black Utility Cart.


Do you have a utility or book cart? If you do, how do you use it?

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  1. I found this:
    “To Be Real”. Maybe like authentic or repo of original?” Book cart is good enough!! Very cute.

    • Interesting! I think when I’ve seen it called that, it was a book review site. I always feel like I’m in the dark on most acronyms. lol Thanks for finding that, Toni! I couldn’t find anything when I searched the other night.

  2. Jill Marie says

    Hi Susan! All those carts look amazing, I now want one too lol. The mint color is gorgeous- I have a plant stand that same color and it’s so nice to look at. I found this online about TBR-
    to be read
    TBR is an acronym that stands for to be read. Many people use it to refer to their reading lists. It can also stand for to be rude or to be real, which can both be used before or after you give someone a harsh truth.

    TBR – Dictionary.com › Home › Words › Acronyms
    I also saw this too though- to be returned and countless other TBR meanings-

    Acronym Definition
    TBR Tennessee Board of Regents
    TBR To Be Returned
    TBR To Be Read
    and countless others. Hope this helps, but I think you are right- To Be Read!

    • The “To Be Returned” makes a lot of sense for a real library. I used to work in my son’s elementary school library as a Media Parapro and we used the book carts for books that needed to be reshelved. Maybe folks are using them now in their homes as their “To Be Read” carts. That’s what it will be for me. I love the idea of keeping the books you want to read out where you can see them and won’t forget about them.
      Thanks for all the great info, Jill!

  3. Kathleen Connally says

    I love your choice of yellow and I think you will love your new cart. In the library world ( at least where I was taught) TBR stands for “to be returned” as in put those books back on the shelves:) We also called carts book trucks.

    • That makes a lot of sense because that’s how we used our library carts when I worked in my son’s elementary school library. Oh, I hadn’t forgotten that term! I remember when we got our first computer system and our card catalog became obsolete. We kept it around for a few more years, though. I don’t think our Librarian fully trusted the new system to always be up and running.

  4. Cynthia Blaylock says

    You just gave me an idea! We are currently building our one-story dream home (selling our two story home). I hate duplicating cleaning supplies in every bathroom, so I’m going to get a cart and load it up with all my cleaning supplies, store it in my mud/laundry room and roll it wherever I need it! Thank you. Now ….. which color …..????

  5. LindaSonia says

    Hey what took you so long??? just kidding 🙂 … I’ve had a cart like this forever and in the aqua color. I think it came from IKEA – not sure. I’ve never heard it specifically called a ‘book’ cart, but I use mine for craft supplies. Love it!

    • Ha, ha! Really! I’ve been eyeing them for ages–about time I finally bought one! I love how versatile they are–so many great ways to use them!

    • Same here, use mine for crafty supplies. Never knew they were called book carts, but thinking about it now, it makes sense. lol

  6. I have the Ikea one in aqua too and love the color. I have some tools and items for small repairs. Sometimes I use the top shelf to gather and organize supplies as I collect them for a specific project. So handy!

  7. franki Parde says

    Sure do!! we have in the coat closet by front door. It holds mittens, gloves, knit hats…next shelf, extra dish towels, handy towels & top is blood pressure kit, thermometer, morning pill container, etc. That little cart can be pulled out to vacuum, clean, etc…it’s “my friend!” Luv that sunny yellow!! franki

  8. Hi I have had my cart for awhile and I saw somewhere online to flip the top shelf upside down to use it as a “table” for a reading light. The other shelves hold my books. It is really functional.

  9. Cyndi Raines says

    Your new yellow cart will be perfect in your office. They are really functional for so many different uses, you tempt me Susan, hehe.

  10. Do they come fully assembled?

    • The ones sold by Ikea (the Raskog) and Michaels need to be assembled, but they’re very easy. I’ve had my Raskog cart for years now.

    • No, I think most need to be assembled but I saw that someone commented in a review that I read that they were easy to assemble. Mine should arrive on Friday, so I should know soon.

  11. Your sunshine yellow TBR cart will look great in your office and a white one would be perfect for your porch. I could really use one of these for a few of the smaller plants I winter over in the house. I always have a drip saucer under each pot so getting water on the metal shouldn’t be an issue. I could easily turn the cart to insure the plants were getting plenty of sun as they sit in front of the french doors in my den. My color for the den is red so I’m glad to see I can get mine in that color. Thanks for the idea Susan!

  12. The Container Store offers some rolling carts with different kits included. I bought an “office cart” kit a few years ago. I needed something easy and convenient to handle tasks (from the sofa) while recovering from major surgery. I love my cart. I also love my kit because my cart or my “mobile office” stayed very organized and clutter-free. I appreciate TCS offering kits. It was nice to receive my cart already stocked and ready for use.

  13. I do have one Susan, it hold my most used crafty supplies that I can pull over to my desk to have at my finger tips. I never knew they were called book carts or TBR carts before, but now it makes perfect sense as the book carts did look like this at the library, just on a bigger scale. Love the yellow one you chose Susan, I too, love yellow. It is always a happy, cheery color. When I was a kid, I wanted a yellow and orange house. lol Never got that yellow and orange house (have a gray one), but they are still happy colors to me. Hugs, Brenda

  14. These are really handy little helpers! I use a couple to store my knitting supplies, tools & some extra yarn…..I can roll it next to the chair I knit in & roll it back out of the way & into a closet when I stop for the day!

  15. I bought my “TBR” cart from IKEA about 6 years ago. I use it for art supplies. Very handy because I can move it from my easel to my draft table to my desk. I didn’t know until today that it was designed for books. Now I have an excuse to buy another one! 🙂

  16. These little carts are so awesome. My daughter used one next to her changing table to hold all the “stuff”! Now that the baby is a “big boy” the cart has come to live in my daughter’s home office. The colors are so pretty. Hers was from Ikea but I see them in other stores now and love them.

  17. I bought one from IKEA several years ago. I have never heard it called a book cart. Utility cart what what mine was called. And I use it to store quilting supplies. A lot of quilters (sewers) use it for that purpose. Mine is Aqua and I love it.

  18. Susan Craft Jones says

    Hi Susan, these carts do need to be assembled. I found 3 in rose gold a few years ago at Michaels, the arts and craft store, and keep my stash of candles in one, etc. Very handy and I love the color!

  19. I have the original raskog from ikea and love it. I use it for craft supplies. It holds the items I reach for most. I bought a 2nd one to hold some craft equipment so I can roll it in and out as needed, they were also very easy to put together. I don’t recommend the ones from michaels. On sale they are the same price as the Ikea one. I needed one in a pinch last year for my hubby’s medical stuff and driving the 40 minutes to ikea wasn’t an option, so I popped into Michaels. It was very cheap and tipped over on carpet easily.

  20. Barbara Kelly says

    I also heard that they are called utility carts. I buy my bottle of waters in bulk and I use my cart to store water bottles on bottom 2 baskets and extra juice boxes for my grandson on top. Its stored right next to my refrigerator for easy access. I put a few bottles at a time in the frig to keep cold.

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