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There’s nothing like a brimming bookcase to make a house feel like a home. While some readers might’ve given up paper books in favor of their favorite tablet, many of us still relish the comforting feel of a real, physical book, especially one you’re proud to display in your home. When deciding the best ways to show off your books, it’s important to factor in the feel of the room you wish to adorn, the amount of space you have and the type of books you want to feature. First, though, you’ll need a good bookcase —one that’s durable, sturdy and looks great amidst your other furniture.
01 of 08
Best Overall: Sauder 5-Shelf Bookcase
The Sauder 5-Shelf Bookcase is our choice for the best overall piece because it’s gorgeous, well made and easy on the wallet. The Sauder bookcase is the perfect piece for a dining room, living space or a bedroom. It comes with five shelves, three of which are adjustable, so you can store larger items like vases or photo albums. The shelf comes disassembled and weighs 85 pounds, though reviewers say it’s easy to put together without help. Once it’s built, the Saunder measures out at 35.3” x 13.2” x 69.8”, and is big enough to hold hundreds of books. Though it’s made from engineered wood, owners say it’s durable and can withstand a lot of pressure. We love the Lintel Oak finish because it’s subtle and gives off a rustic farmhouse vibe without overdoing the vintage theme.
If you’re looking for a great all-around standard bookcase, the Saunder is your best bet for affordability and construction.
02 of 08
Best Decorative Bookshelf: O&K Furniture Rustic Bookshelf
If beauty is what you’re after, the O&K Rustic Bookshelf is a piece of furniture that can pull an entire room together. This industrial bookshelf is the perfect piece in a mid-century loft or farmhouse home and is as functional as it is visually appealing. The 35.4" x 12" x 39.9" shelf can hold up to 45 pounds per shelf, so it’s a great choice for a mix of books and decorative knickknacks. Because there are no real sides to this shelf, you’ll want to invest in a great set of bookends to keep your display in place.
The shelf is made of PVC board and metal, but owners say it looks like reclaimed wood. Reviewers love how easy it is to put together and rave about the compliments they’ve received. If you want a gorgeous way to display your favorite items and books, the O&K is a wonderful choice.
03 of 08
Best Low Bookcase: Alcott Hill Bel Air 30" Standard Bookcase
Sometimes you have a little extra space to fill, and a low bookcase is a perfect way to fill it. The 30'' x 36'' x 14'' Alcott Hill Bel Air is a stylish way to add a little storage space for books without using up a lot of real estate. It has one shelf that divides your storage space into two and makes a great accessory for guest bedrooms or dens. The piece weighs just over 50 pounds and is made from a mix of manufactured and solid wood. The simple white looks great in a cottage or farmhouse-inspired aesthetic, though reviewers do note that there’s a heavy paint smell for the first few days.
If you’re looking for a well-made bookcase that’s not too tall, the Alcott Hill Bel Air is a versatile piece of furniture you can use for years to come.
04 of 08
Best Heavy Duty: Kathy Ireland Home By Martin Huntington Oxford Bookcase
A sturdy, solid wood bookcase is your best bet if you have loads of books to store. While manufactured wood may warp or bend, solid wood shelves can withstand a lot of weight. This Kathy Ireland Home bookcase is a biggie, coming in at 72” x 36”, and its six shelves were made for stacking. It comes in burnish or wheat finishes, both of which are neutral enough to look stunning in any room — though we love this style in a home office or den. Two of the shelves are fixed, while the remaining four can be moved to accommodate a variety of heights. This bookcase comes with a five-year manufacturer’s warranty covering defects, and the unit ships fully assembled, which means no frustrating manual to decipher.
Owners say it feels stately and grand in any room, and love how easy the delivery is. If you’re one of those book lovers who piles their bookcases high, this Kathy Ireland Home unit is the ideal choice.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Best for Kids’ Rooms: Saganizer Bookshelf and Magazine Rack
Encouraging reading at an early age can lead to a lifelong love of the written word. Giving your child a space for his or her books to shine is a great way to foster a love of books, and this Saganizer Bookshelf is the perfect choice for displaying picture books in any child’s bedroom or playroom. This toddler-sized shelf allows easy access for kids three and up and gives them a chance to show off his or her favorite stories. The nylon unit is 25'' x 26'' x 11'' and can store 25 or more books, depending on how they’re displayed.
Owners say it’s incredibly easy to put together, though they do note it can be a little top heavy if overfilled. The Saganizer kids’ shelf is a wonderful choice to help motivate and encourage reading in your little one.
06 of 08
Best for Small Spaces: West Elm Mid-Century Bookshelf Narrow Tower
Smaller homes and apartments need not sacrifice books, but it’s important to pick a bookcase that is compact and efficient, putting every inch to work. We love the West Elm Mid-Century Bookshelf because it’s trendy, attractive and packs a big punch. At only 22" x 70.25", this unit comes in acorn or white finishes and is made of eucalyptus wood and acacia wood veneer. We love the added drawer that doubles as a filing cabinet or extra storage for odds and ends.
In small spaces, it’s important that every piece is fully functional and fits well with your decor. We love the mid-century look, and this West Elm tower is a trendy way to incorporate the style into your home.
07 of 08
Best with Doors: Homestar Glass Cabinet in Reclaimed Wood Finish
While most bookcases are traditionally exposed, adding doors can help keep their contents organized and clean while protecting valuable books and items. If you’re looking for a great bookcase with plenty of storage, we love this Homestar Glass Cabinet. It has two sections: one with glass doors that allows you to show off your books and a lower unit you can use to hide any extras you don’t want to show off. The unit is made of particle board, but owners say the faux reclaimed wood look looks genuine. The unit is 33.5” x 70.9” x 15.4” and weighs 120 pounds.
Reviewers love the distressed look, and say it works as well for book storage as it does for other media like DVDs and games. Expect to spend a few hours putting this unit together, but the end result is well worth the time and effort.
08 of 08
Best Corner Bookcase: Beachcrest Home Pierview 63" Corner Unit Bookcase
If you find yourself with an empty corner in your home — one that’s not already piled high with books — a corner bookcase is a great choice for your space. We love the Beachcrest Home Pierview because it’s attractive, affordable and well made. The unit is 63.25'' x 21'' x 29'' and has five shelves to display your favorite novels or your manicured plants. It’s made from MDF, or fibreboard, so don’t expect it to hold extremely heavy books, but reviewers say the faux wood grain looks genuine and beautiful. We love this piece for an eat-in kitchen to display cookbooks or a cozy den with your favorite “curl up at the fire” novels.
Owners say it’s fairly easy to put together and appreciate the high-end look the Beachcrest shelf offers at a low price.