Your All-Important Buying Guide for Shelves and Bookcases: How to Best Decide

The most important pieces of furniture you can ever possess are, of course, tables and chairs, beds, and storage items (cupboards and cabinets). However, there is nothing like being able to display your possessions proudly in a great bookcase, and a home without a nice bookcase is an empty home indeed.

Contrary to what the name suggests, bookcases aren’t just useful for displaying books – they can showcase any prized belongings and are useful for storing any odds and ends. In fact, it’s not just about storing or displaying things; the bookcase itself should be considered a piece of art. But how do you choose the right one? Here is your all-important buying guide for shelves and bookcases: how to best decide.

Determine the size first

Things to consider when it comes to size – measure your room carefully first:

  • Height
  • Width
  • Depth
  • Space between shelves


Before you buy your bookcase, think about whether or not you want adjustable shelves. Consider also a bookcase on wheels if you feel mobility is important. Remember also that a bookshelf can be used as a room divider.


Wood or metal? Particle board or plastic? There are many kinds of materials to choose from. They will determine weight, design, colour and budget.

Choosing the style

There are various styles to choose from; here are just some of the most common ones:

  • Standard – they are the working units; they are the ones best suited for heavy duty. Often made of wood, they are versatile and come with shelves in different kinds of sizes, either fixed or adjustable.
  • Leaning – they lend some style and can often take some heavy weight; they are designed in such a way that they actually lean against the wall. They form a sturdy base, with the lower shelves wider and deeper as the upper shelves become narrower and smaller.
  • Cube – the cube can be used in many ways; the vertical spaces and horizontal spaces are equal, and hence this kind of bookcase can be arranged for many purposes.
  • Built-in – great for wall-to-wall or floor-to-ceiling cases; they ensure style and character.

It’s not always easy to choose, especially considering the various makes and models there are on the market nowadays, such as rustic and vintage industrial furniture (always a popular choice). Furthermore, they’re not always cheap, so it’s important that you take your time when choosing the one that fits your home the best. However, the process of making your selection doesn’t need to be so hard. Determine the place where it will go, figure out the size, and consult professionals (or visit many showrooms or online sites) to determine which style suits you best. Enjoy the process, and understand that the right bookcase can make a very big difference indeed.