A Guide to Choosing and Using Bookcases and Bookshelves

Find ideal ready-made bookcases or build your own bookcase. Learn about materials, sizes and styles by reading our guide to finding the perfect bookshelves for your home.

Home is where your books are. If you cherish books you probably don't give them away once you've finished reading them. Before you know it you've got more books than space for them. Your bookcases are stacked double deep, and the books are getting covered in dust. Time for more bookshelves!

How to Choose Your Bookcases

To start with, ask yourself these questions:

  • What type of books do you want to display on the shelves? (paperbacks, oversized, legal books etc)
  • Who is the bookcase intended for?
  • Where are you planning to put the bookcase?
  • How much of the shelves will be filled with books, and how much will be left for knick knacks and other things?
  • When (if ever) will you need to move the bookcase?

So, answers in hand, how do you know which kind of bookcase is best for you? There are many types of bookcases available, so we've worked out a guide to help you figure out which type of bookcase is good for each type of use. For each bookcase style we'll tell you about:

  • what kind of displays work best (what kind of books, ornaments and pictures etc.)
  • the advantages and disadvantages of each style
  • book arrangements and display ideas
  • how to understand bookcase specifications (materials, dimensions and more)

Bookcase Types

Ladder Bookshelves are sleek, free-standing units that also work well as decorative furniture. They're available in many colors and sizes, there's even a corner model.

Corner Bookshelves can turn your unused corner into an attractive space for displaying your books, collections and treasures.

Leaning Bookcases take advantage of the wall behind them for their support. They "lean" back against the wall, providing you with staggered shelves from bottom to top.

Folding Bookcases are great for students and others who need the flexiblity of moving bookcases without having to dissassemble them. Just pack up the books, fold up the bookcase, and you're on your way.

Dormitory Bookcases and Shelves will give you some great ideas and shelving solutions for student dorms and apartments. These are bookcases and shelves designed for anyone who isn't living permanently in any one location and moves around a lot.

Revolving Bookcases While you might not have considered revolving bookcases in your home before, you have got to take a look at what's available. These units are sleek, space-saving and really catch your eye!

Barrister Bookcases have glass doors that protect each shelf. Each door is on its own hinge, and it slides up and out of the way when you want access to a shelf. These bookcases are designed for large legal books, but they're great for other books or treasures that you want to protect.

Built-In Bookcases require the most thought and planning before you buy. You'll want to see what we have to say before you decide what type of built-in bookcases you want.

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