It doesn’t matter if you have a small or large collection of books, a bookcase makes a beautiful piece of furniture to have in your study or living room, showcasing whatever books you have in your collection.
It’s not mandatory that a bookcase is used only for organizing your books. You can always use it to organize magazines and study papers, and to display any art and accent pieces you may also have. You can also add a few bins or baskets to stash any odds and ends you have.
With so many uses to a bookcase, the right choice can lead to your buying a bookshelf that serves you for years or even decades to come. If you need help here, these tips can help you find the best bookcase that complements your home interiors.
It doesn’t matter how many shelves you need in your bookcase. You have to make your choice based on its style, which is where you have a dozen options to choose from. The common style options are:
These are the workhouses of shelving units that are typically made of wood or MDF. They are designed with a closed-back frame and evenly spaced or adjustable shelves.
- Ladder or leaning
These bookshelves are designed to lean against the wall. They usually have stepped shelves that gradually reduce in size as it goes upwards.
As these bookracks are built at a right angle, they are ideal for squeezing into tight nooks and corners.
These bookcases are more delicate than the standard ones and have an open back with glass shelves. While standard bookracks are built for function, the étagère ones are more about form.
Cube bookshelves are divided horizontally and vertically to give cube-like sections for storing both books and storage baskets.
These bookracks are just right if you plan to create a wall or room with floor-to-ceiling shelves. However, you can’t just head to your furniture store or go online to buy them. You have to work with your contractor to create the right unit to fit your space.
It’s the look of these bookracks that gives it its name, where they are designed to have shelves suspended between two supports which resemble ladders.
Bookshelves are predominantly used for storing books. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t house anything else in it. If this is the case, you may have to keep the following points in mind before buying one.
Wheels will be useful if you plan to use the bookrack as a room divider, or if you constantly redecorate. This is because it’s so much easier moving it between rooms if it has wheels.
- Shelves with adjustable heights
These are the most flexible bookcases because the shelves are suspended on pegs which you can insert into various holes as per your requirements.
- Room divider
If your bookshelf is supposed to double up as a room divider, then look for one that’s designed to stand on its’ own. This is important because most of the bookracks have to be secured to a wall, and will not work as a room divider otherwise.
Like any piece of furniture, size is an important factor to consider while looking for a bookshelf. It determines the number of shelves, and the length of each shelf you can accommodate within the existing available space. It’s size normally depends on:
Choose the height based on both aesthetics and practicality. While tall units filling up most of the wall may look expensive and formal, it’s the shorter ones that are more functional. You can use the top surface area for other reasons like a media cabinet, workspace or even as a buffet.
The ideal width depends on the height. If it’s a tall bookshelf you are looking for, then it should have various narrow units instead of a single large unit. This adds flexibility because you can add or subtract storage space as necessary. However, if you opt for a shorter bookrack, look for something wide enough to make the bookcase feel substantial.
While most shelves are at least 12 inches deep to provide ample storage space, there are some like the ladder or leaning versions that have narrow shelves. You have to choose the depth based on how you plan to use the bookrack.
- Space between shelves
If possible, look for something with adjustable height shelves because they offer more flexibility. If you like one with fixed shelves, then it’s better to measure the space in between the shelves before buying it to ensure your books and accessories will fit into it.
It’s surprising to know that bookshelves are not necessarily made of only wood. They can be made from various materials, where the most common ones are:
Wooden pieces are all-time favorites because they give a traditional look with a solid, long-lasting frame. They are ideal as standard bookshelves because they are strong enough to bear the weight of the books and anything else that will be stored on it.
Bookshelves made of particle board are ideal for those on a budget. In this case, the shelves are made of particle board or MDF which looks like real wood but is much cheaper. However, they only look like real wood but are not as strong as it. So they may not make the right choice if you expect to fill up the shelves with heavy or too many books.
Metal shelves are no doubt very sturdy and are less bulky than wood or particle board. They make the ideal choice if you are looking for a streamlined bookcase with a contemporary look.
Lastly, the budget is a constraint that you always have to keep in mind. Without a budget, you may end up spending more than you can afford for a bookcase you will not enjoy looking at every day.
However, if you choose one wisely keeping all these points in mind, then you will end up with a bookshelf that will house your priced books, and keep them neat and tidy for a long time to come!