Book shelf solutions for your library

Bookcases provide ample storage for books and decorative items. Before selecting a bookcase, determine what type of books or items it will store, who is going to use it and which room it will be kept in.

Corner and Ladder Bookcases

Bookcases come in many styles to fit your space and your décor. Some styles are better for decorative items because of their formation. Ladder bookcases are one such style; they have the widest shelf at the bottom, and each shelf gets progressively narrower so that the upper shelf is narrowest. So, while the bottom shelves are excellent for books, the upper shelves are more practical for small display items. Corner bookcases also provide limited storage space because books can be positioned in only one direction and individual shelves are usually small. Thus, they, too, make excellent choices for displaying photographs and knick-knacks.

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Barrister Bookcases

Barrister bookcases, often traditional in appearance, contain two, three or five sturdy shelves. These shelves are capable of supporting heavy books, and each is enclosed by glass to provide protection while still allowing for easy viewing of your titles. Because they are solid wood bookcases, barrister bookcases tend to be very durable. When shopping for barrister bookcases, make sure that the doors all move smoothly and stay open when you remove items from (or add them to) the shelf.

Built in Bookcases

Built in bookcases, often the most expensive bookcases, are customized for precise needs and locations. As their name suggests, they are built in to a room, so they are immoveable and intended for long-term use. The material used and the workmanship will be the biggest influences on the price of built in bookcases, and prices will vary by contractor, so obtain multiple quotes. Aside from their aesthetic value, a major advantage of built in bookcases is that they are placed flush against a wall, so you don't have to worry about debris or items falling behind them.

Library Bookcases

Library bookcases sometimes have spaces for televisions and other items. Depending on the configuration, a library bookcase may serve as an entertainment center. If you intend to house your TV or stereo in a library bookcase, be sure to have the dimensions of these items while you're shopping to ensure the right fit. You will also want to know the dimensions of the wall the unit will rest against so that you can be sure it will have the proper support and won't look out of place.

Most styles of bookcases come in assorted materials. Oak bookcases are popular because they are both sturdy and affordable, and they come in a variety of stains. Bookcases made out of other woods are also available. For those who require affordability over durability, particle board covered with laminate makes a cheap but functional bookcase that can be used just about anywhere. White and black bookcases are most popular, but laminates imitating various woods can also be found.