I Spy Science & Wired for Science @ Home project 

Paper Tube Book Towers

Challenge I:  How many books can you hold up using a sheet of computer paper and a piece of scotch tape?

Challenge II:  How many books can you hold up using 4 sheets of computer paper and 4 pieces of scotch tape?

Materials Needed: Computer paper, scotch tape and books


  • Roll up the sheet of paper or papers into a tube shape, like a Greek column that holds up a part of a building.
  • Attach the piece of tape.  Try putting the tape at the top, bottom or middle of the paper and see which works better! You can also experiment with using more tape.
  • Place the books one at a time on your paper tube to see how many books your tube can hold.  You can use any size books, experiment with this!


  • Why do you think the sheet of paper is able to hold your books up?
  • Can you double stack?
  • Can you think of other objects besides books you could experiment with?
  • Does it matter if the tubes are skinny or fat?

How My Experiment Worked (from Mrs. Charles):
I had a harder time with the one tube so I used smaller books.  I didn’t go to the maximum number of books because I wanted to photograph them!

With the 4 tubes I used kids library books and stopped at 31 for one stack, but with the double stack I could have gotten way more books! Try to get more than I did!

Show us your successful paper tube stacks by posting the photo in the comments of our Facebook post or tag us on Instagram (@carylibrary) and we’ll share your photo!