While bookshelves are traditionally used to house one’s literary collection, they are also a useful storage and display solution. Consider using a bookcase to exhibit photos, artwork, souvenirs and collectibles alongside your hardcovers and paperbacks. Whether you’re looking for a more unique look, like a ladder bookcase, or a compact storage solution, such as a corner bookshelf, shop for bookcases below!
What types of bookcases are available?
As you browse the wide variety of designer bookshelves for sale, think about where they will go and what you’ll use them for — their design should be complementary to your current decor as well as contain the type of storage or display components you are looking for. Apart from the standard vertical design to showcase and store your books, there are a few other options you might want to consider:
The ladder bookshelf looks like — you guessed it! — a ladder. These neat pieces lean against the wall and typically feature shelves that diminish in depth from bottom to top. Given their narrow, vertical shape, a leaning bookshelf is a great space-saver that doesn’t need to be attached to the wall, making them portable, low maintenance and a solid choice for almost any room.
A corner bookshelf is a nifty design that utilizes every inch of space in your corners, which make these unique pieces ideal for smaller rooms or homes. Corner units are also ideal decor — they are functional, aesthetically pleasing storage solutions that fill awkward spaces that may be otherwise difficult to stylishly occupy.
Originally used by barristers, a Barrister bookcase is constructed of multiple shelves that can be stacked atop one another to form a complete unit. This, along with handles and top-hinged doors on each shelf, allows for the entire unit to be moved easily with books still inside. Modern models may not be fully portable like the originals, so if you're looking for something truly authentic, double check the product description to be sure.
Wall bookshelves are great storage solutions for a home that has little floor space and a lot of bare walls. Doubling as both decorative and functional, floating bookshelves and wall units are the perfect way to add a little extra organization and pizzazz to a space — just make sure they are mounted well and made to hold the amount of weight you intend to put on them!
What material should I choose for my bookcase?
The most common and affordable options for bookshelf materials are wood veneer or boards created from compressed layers of wood and plywood. While they may cost less than other options, these two bookcase materials are not as sturdy and may crack, chip or even warp over time. More durable materials like solid hardwood and metal tend to ask more of your wallet, but they’ll also be a piece that you can use for years to come.
What should I keep in mind when looking at display cases?
Different types of collections require different exhibition strategies. Here are a few items to consider while you shop for your assemblage's new home:
Size. Keep in mind how large your collection is, but don’t forget to consider the available space in your home too. Be sure to measure the length, width, depth and height of your available area to ensure that your chosen display case will fit.
Materials. Certain collectibles will look better and last longer being housed in a translucent material like glass, acrylic or plexiglass. Other collectibles will look stunning in a wood or plastic case. Whatever you choose, keep durability in mind. If your collection features heavier items, it’s best to invest in materials that will hold up over the years.
Mounting. If you have ample floor space and a large collection, consider a tall, freestanding unit or a wide, horizontal case that offers even more display surface on top. If your home is smaller or you’d like to arrange your grouping at eye level, wall-mounted display cases are a great solution. If you do opt for a wall-mounted design, be sure to mount it on studs and with a mounting system that holds it securely to your wall; it's also important to make sure the combined weight of your collection and case don’t exceed any weight limits for the system you choose.
Lighting. Lighted display cases can illuminate collectibles or put a spotlight on featured items. Some offer bottom lighting while others light your collection from above, so choose the style you feel will best highlight your collection.
Humidity control. If you’re displaying wooden objects, musical instruments or items that must be stored within a certain range of temperatures, always consider your humidity and moisture control options.