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16 Types of Bookcases

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So here’s the thing. Books, bookcases, and I go together as well as pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving day. Harry Potter was pretty much my entire childhood summed up into 8 books, so if you think that I put my beloved books in just any plain ol’ bookcase, THINK AGAIN.

If your relationship with books is as hardcore as mine, then you’ll know that bookcases are not just for decoration for you. If they are meant to be ornamental and not functional in your house, that’s also perfectly fine. Become familiar with words like minimalistic, modern, and shelving.

With so many types of bookcases to choose from, things do get confusing. Delve into the world of bookcases to find the perfect choice with minimal effort.

16 Types of Bookcases

1. Cube

SONGMICS 6-Cube Storage Rack, Staircase Organizer, DIY Storage Shelf, Bookcase in Living Room, Children's Room, Bedroom, for Toys and Daily Necessities, Black ULSN63H

If you’re a fan of geometric shapes, this one’s for you! This bookshelf is as perfect as Superman’s facial features if I do say so myself. It can be folded into different dimensions like 2×3 or 3×3. It doesn’t require any assembly, so don’t panic and bring out the toolbox just yet.

The metal that makes of the frames provides rigidity and support, while the fabric adds a bit of flexibility to an otherwise cold looking bookshelf.

Buy this on Amazon.

2. Standard

Sauder Beginnings 3-Shelf Bookcase, Highland Oak finish

This is pretty much the generic bookcase that you find at every store and already have at home. It’s kind of a classic, and you know what they say about the classics. “One cannot be forever innovating. Create classics.”

These types of bookshelves are basic and are usually made of wood or any other common material. It also has horizontal shelving with robust support in terms of shelving and support. You can choose 1-shelf, 2-shelf, or 3-shelf bookcases, depending on the room.

Any more shelves than 3 is a bit of an overkill, ruining the rustic vibe of the standard bookshelf. Depending on the number of shelves, the length can vary anywhere from 32 inches to 48 inches.

Get it here.

3. Modular

SONGMICS Metal Wire Cube Storage,16-Cube Shelves Organizer,Stackable Storage Bins, Modular Bookcase, DIY Closet Cabinet Shelf, 48.4"L x 12.2"W x 48.4"H, Black

On a budget and looking for a bookcase? Chose a modular bookcase. It comes with parts that need to be assembled. But fear not! It’s not as confusing as solving Einstein’s theory of relativity which is how I feel when I buy furniture from IKEA that requires assembly!

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It’s also a great bookcase to buy if you have a lot of kid books that keep filling up your bookshelf. They can either be made of wood or wired metal. Since it’s modular, you can add more modules if you wish, making it customizable.

Get this bookcase here!

4. Leaning

Casual Home 5-Shelf Ladder Bookcase, Espresso

This bookcase gives the illusion of a ladder leaning against the wall, adding a rustic and casual vibe to the room you put it in. Even though the bookcase leans, there’s plenty of room on each shelf of the case to place books, your alarm, and a potted plant if you wish.

They are usually made of wood and come in exotic-sounding colors like “espresso brown” and “walnut”. The shelves themselves stay horizontal and flat if you tilt the bookcase at the right angle, so don’t worry about your books falling off the shelf.

Buy this leaning bookcase here.

5. Corner

Casual Home 5-Shelf Corner Ladder Bookcase

Well as the name indicates, these bookcases are perfect for corners. They are most commonly made of wood and have 4-5 horizontal shelves to place items. There are other various types where the bookcase is of a zigzag style or if the bookcase looks like a ladder with increasing shelf size.

They are a bit pricy compared to other shelves, and the shelf can either fit into the edge of the wall or stand like a normal bookcase separately.

Buy this amazing space saver here.

6. Barrister

Simpli Home 3AXCBUR-004 Burlington Solid Wood 40 inch Wide Traditional Medium Storage Cabinet in Espresso Brown

These are more commonly used in home offices, or next to study tables because of the translucent glass. You can’t really see what’s inside, but you can still see that there are books inside the shelf.

These bookcases usually have sliding doors, making it easy to store huge textbooks or any other heavyweight books that can’t be stored on other types of bookcases. They can be 2-3 shelves high but aren’t customizable.

The shelves themselves are also heavyweight, so buy this bookcase considering the amount of space you have. It’s also quite heavy, owing to the extra wood that makes up the frame and each shelf to hold heavy-duty books.

Buy it on Amazon.

7. Wood

Sauder 5 Shelf Bookcase, Select Cherry finish

Rustic? Homely? Warm and soothing tones? This is your go-to pick. If you’re not really focusing on the design of the bookcase but the frame material, wood is the most common and standard option.

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There isn’t a single store you can go to that doesn’t have a bookshelf made out of wood! Cherry oak, walnut, mahogany, take your pic! Anyone of these options will contribute to a warmer atmosphere in the office or at home.

Buy this best wooden bookcase.

8. Metal

Tribesigns 5-Shelf Bookshelf with Metal Wire, Vintage Industrial Bookcase Display Shelf Storage Organizer with Metal Frame for Home Office, 47.2 L x 9.4 D x 71 H (Black)

A metal frame contributes to a minimalistic, and more modern look to go for, especially if you’re in the whole “this place needs a hell of a renovation phase.” It makes the room look bigger than it actually is, because the bookcase is open, and the frame is lightweight.

You can also fit more items on a metal shelf and see exactly what you have stored. These types of bookcases are perfect for the living room as well when you seem to be running out of space for books, and a few toys here and there.

Buy the stylish metal bookcase above.

Buy the cheapest yet best metal bookcase.

9.  Laminate

Office Star Prado 2 Shelf Bookcase, White Laminate Finish

When I first heard about this I was confused. Bookcases covered with a layer of paper? Makes no sense. Then, of course, a Google search cleared up the confusion.

It’s basically a type of furniture that is protected with a layer of plastic or vinyl. This covering protects the bookcase, preserving its freshness and can withstand constant moves and/or any accidental coffee spills. Basically, it’s bulletproof, so if you’re looking for a sustainable bookcase, this is it.

Buy it here.

10. Glass

Convenience Concepts Designs2Go Go-Accsense 3-Shelf Glass Bookcase, Clear Glass

You’ll most likely use glass frame bookcases as coffee tables, or in the guest room since the clearness of the glass gives the bookcase a fresh look. Rather than the same old standard wooden bookcase that I’ve seen so many times I wish I had a blindfold.

These are also cheaper compared to other bookcases, and fit perfectly if you’re looking for a small table to fit anywhere in the house.

But glass bookcase on Amazon.

11. Traditional

Rowan Carved Combination Bookcases Chestnut

Not sure which frame material or design to choose, but just want an overall perspective of which bookcase you might want? The traditional bookcase could be the choice for you.

It boasts of fine wood carvings, and artistic components as part of the bookcase. It brings a sense of art, modernness, and a sense of youth that never gets old no matter how long you have, or obsessively stare, at the bookcase.

The above bookcase is one of the best traditional bookcases. Buy it on Amazon.

12. Modern

Tribesigns 12-Shelf Bookcase, Modern Tree Bookshelf Book Rack Display Shelf Storage Organizer for CDs, Records, Books, Home Office Deco (White)

Modern style bookcases focus more on space and style than anything else. They maximize existing space and come in asymmetrical shapes like zigzagged cubes and tilted ladders in shades of neutral colors. These colors range from beige to a solid, glistening black that makes the bookcase speak for itself much like a fashion statement.

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Buy this case.

Check out other modern bookcases on Amazon.

13. Contemporary

Bookcase with Inverted Supports and Open Shelves Cappuccino

When you hear the word contemporary, words like “individual, modern, free-spirited, out-of-the-box” are just a few of the many words that come to mind. Contemporary is pretty much anything you want it to be. There’s no set time period that this style is influenced by.

It kind of takes inspiration from each era and place and stylizes it much like A-frame bookcases or wall mounted bookcases with ladder shelving do.

Buy this bookcase.

Check out contemporary bookcases.

14. Rustic

South Shore 5-Shelf Storage Bookcase, Rustic Oak

Rustic bookcases just make you want to curl up on the couch and read your favorite book with a strong cup of hot chocolate in your hand to keep you warm.

They aren’t fussy, they don’t have any filtered or unnecessary eccentric designs. They just remind you of a farmhouse with autumn colors, beautiful in a very old-fashioned way. It’s kind of like the secret garden of bookcases!

This is the best rustic bookcase right now!

15. Coastal

Convenience Concepts Oxford 3 Tier Bookcase, Sea Foam

Hawaii? Beaches? Count me in. These types of bookshelves remind you of the days where you’d dig your feet into the ocean sand and take a deep breath of that fresh salty, oceany air with no gadgets to distract you.

They usually have 4-5 horizontal shelves, with a crisscross frame to stop the books from falling off the edge of the shelf. The wood it’s made of is usually a bit faded or sun-bleached to encapsulate those beachy days.

Buy it on Amazon.

16. Industrial

Homissue 4 Shelf Industrial Double Bookcase and Book Shelves, Storage Rack Display Stand, Etagere Bookshelf with Open 8 Shelf, Retro Brown, 64.2-Inch Height

These bookcases give a robust, sturdy look that screams “heavy-duty” anytime you walk into a room with a shelf like this. They’re usually made of steel, and come in neutral colors like white or black, since the focus is on the shelf and not the design or color.

All in all, shopping for a bookcase isn’t difficult. You don’t have to be clear about what type of shelf you want either, since there are many options to choose from. If you know what type of style, frame material or layout you want, that’s more than enough.

The shelf in the photo above looks amazing, right? Get it here.

Written by Pulkit D

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