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In Our Book: 78 of Our Favorite Bookcases (All Sizes & All Budgets)

photo by tessa neustadt

When I was in college and family members would ask what I was planning on doing with my life (as family members do), I would proudly reveal that I was studying English literature. Anyone who received a degree in Liberal Arts might guess the popular response: “Oh, so you want to be a teacher?” My answer would be a big resounding no, leaving them scratching their heads and praying I would change my mind and switch to a more reasonable major, such as business. In my mind, the reasoning behind my choice in higher education was quite simple: I love reading and writing. When you don’t have a math brain or an inkling for science, you sort of need to stick with what you know, and reading is what I know. It turns out when you are someone like me, studying literature eventually becomes synonymous with hoarding books, so to this day, I have an absurd number of books that I hold near and dear to my heart like a coin collector would their many coins. As it so happens, displaying these books in my home has become a source of comfort. I like looking at them and being reminded of the stories within. I like seeing the wear of their spines indicating a vigorous read. I like reading them once and then reading them again. If I have somewhat lost you on what is beginning to seem like an ode to books, have no fear because I am mostly here to say books are an important styling tool that can show off your interests and personality (or, even if you don’t style with them and just let them be in their natural habitat, books are such an important part of a home). Take it from someone who will immediately scan a bookshelf in any home I enter to see what the owner is into, books can say a lot about a person and their style.

So today, I am not going to try and recruit you to participate in an EHD worldwide book club (although that would be fun…wait should we start a book club?) but instead will present to you over 70 bookcases that we really really love right now. We scoured the internet for tall and short, vertical and horizontal, slim and wide bookcases for any and all potential square footages and budgets. So, assuming you have your books and tchotchkes that need a home, let’s get you a bookcase.

Tall Vertical Bookcases

First up, we have tall vertical bookcases. In a small footprint (or any home really, no matter the size), designing “up” is a powerful tool to both save space but also create interest for the eye high and low.  #27 would be a great choice to add a ton of character, while something like #5 could be more minimal and quiet depending on how you chose to fill the shelves. Here’s a hint: bookcases will look more styled and put together when books are accompanied with other items (sorry for making you read the most boring sentence ever written, but it is true). Vessels are your book’s best friends, and decorative objects are their long lost mates. Again, there’s also nothing wrong with just cramming those shelves with books and only books—in fact, sometimes that’s the most powerful design statement you can make.

Emily Henderson Roundups Best Bookcases Tall Vertical New

1. Billy Bookcase with Glass Doors| 2. Douglas Tall Bookcase Solid Walnut | 3. Mid-Century 38″ Bookshelf | 4. Amalie Cabinet | 5. Apanas Hardwood Bookshelf | 6. Hemnes Glass-Door Cabinet | 7. 62″ Siegel Bookcase With Doors | 8. Vintage Brass & Glass Bookcase Etagere | 9. Zephyr Bookcase in Coal | 10. Tall Walnut Brown Wood Ashlyn Bookshelf | 11. Modrn Industrial Finna Tall Bookcase | 12. Leaning Bookshelf | 13. Madison Bookshelf | 14. Laran Bookshelf, Oak | 15. Stax Walnut Bookcase | 16. Posner Standard Bookcase | 17. Lignum | 18. Natural Acacia Wood Fletcher Bookshelf | 19. Archive | 20. 72″ Amherst Mid Century Modern 5-Shelf Bookcase | 21. St. Paul Ladder Shelf | 22. Vintage Boho Chic Bamboo Rattan Etagere Bookshelf | 23. One Step Up Bookcase | 24. Zane Wide Bookshelf | 25. Modrn Scandinavian Finna Tall Bookcase | 26. Helix Acacia Wall-Mounted Bookcase | 27. 1970s Boho Chic Wicker Bookshelf with Glass Shelves

Medium Height Bookcases

A medium-sized bookcase like any of the below would be great for additional shelving in say, a bedroom or entryway where you might want to keep your sight lines open. I am swooning over #4 (those legs!) and #2 because it looks like you can also store records on those shelves which I am very into. Also, a cabinet like #3 is a very chic alternative if open shelving is not your thing.

Emily Henderson Roundups Best Bookcases Medium Height New 2

1. 48″ Minsmere Caned Bookshelf | 2. Maud Shelf – Medium | 3. Malsjo Glass-Door Cabinet | 4. Cameron Ash Bookcase | 5. Carneal Standard Bookcase | 6. Vintage Rattan 3 Level Shelf | 7. Havsta Glass-Door Cabinet with Base | 8. Bergerson Standard Bookcase | 9. Chapple Geometric Bookcase | 10. Dahl Console Bookcase | 11. Woodcrest Etagere Bookcase | 12. Ashby Storage Cubby | 13. 66″ Paulo 4 Shelf Bookcase | 14. Archive | 15. 46″ Amherst Mid Century Modern 3 Shelf Bookcase | 16. Small Olive Green Bookcase | 17. Copenhagen Bookcase in Cherry | 18. Kirby Bookshelf

Horizontal Bookcases

Now onto the horizontals. What I like about these is you can save on space by going for a media stand that doubles as a bookshelf. I know some people don’t have TVs in their living rooms (which is wild to me by the way) but a stereo or record player could easily go on top a lot of these bad boys, as well. I have my eye on #5 and #7 because I am a sucker for weird, geometric shaped furniture, and I am really loving #21 because of the scattered shelving that adds just enough element of visual interest.

Emily Henderson Roundups Best Bookcases Horizontal New

1. Industrial Modular Bookcase | 2. Graywash Wood and Metal Keenan Shelf | 3. Stax Console | 4. Mainstays 34″ Conrad 3-Shelf Bookcase | 5. Maud Shelf – Low | 6. Billy Bookcase | 7. Walnut Brown Wood Ashlyn Bookshelf | 8. Harper Shelf – Medium | 9. Foshay Console Bookcase | 10. Modrn Scandinavian Finna Wide Ladder Bookcase | 11. Contender 2 Compartment Shelving Unit | 12. Florence Media Stand | 13. Novogratz Baxter 33″ Bookcase | 14. Bandit Ave Low Bookcase | 15. Hayward Bookcase | 16. 29.5″ Dudley Bookshelf | 17. 34″ Loring 8 Cube Bookcase | 18. IKEA PS 2017 Shelf Unit | 19. Long Bookcase | 20. Way Basics 2-Shelf Bookcase | 21. Amherst Mid Century Modern Horizontal Bookcase

Extra Large & Wide Bookcases

Here, we have the GO BIG OR GO HOME section for the bold and fearless (and non-spacially challenged). If you are leaning towards any of these I would venture to guess you have A LOT of books and tons of unique objects that would make me insanely jealous. Look out for #6 because it just about knocked the wind out of me it is so beautiful, and #5 is perfect if you require both open and closed storage.

Emily Henderson Roundups Best Bookcases Extra Wide Large 2

1. Studio Bookshelf | 2. Foshay Bookcase Wall Unit | 3. Hart Modular Walnut Double Shelving Unit | 4. Beckett 6-High Shelf | 5. Logan Large Wall Suite With Open Shelving | 6. Wave Bookshelf | 7. Tuscan 5-Piece Flush Bookcases | 8. Balboa Wide Shelf | 9. General Store Shelf | 10. Oak Rise Rack | 11. Reclaimed Pine Wood Bookshelf | 12. Whitewash Carved Wood Peacock Bookshelf

Okay my friends, that is all the shopping for today. What bookcases are on your radar? What is your favorite way to style a bookcase or shelf? Tell me everything.

AND BEFORE WE GO, we thought it would be fun to get a peek into your homes and see how your store your beloved books. Head on over to Instagram, snap a photo of your shelves (whether full of books or your favorite doodads), and use hashtag #ShowEmYourShelfie to make sure we see it. We’ll share our favorites throughout the day on Stories, so check back to see if you were featured.

‘Til next time. <3


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48 thoughts on “In Our Book: 78 of Our Favorite Bookcases (All Sizes & All Budgets)

  1. Hi Emily and Team EHD,

    I’m not sure you’ve seen the news, but employees at Wayfair are staging a walkout today to protest the company’s decision to profit from the detention of migrant children at the border. 500 employees wrote a letter, which you can read, and the company’s response was basically we’ll do business with whoever wants to give us $$.

    I love EHD for your designs, ideas, beautiful reveals, and wonderful advice. But I also appreciate your moral compass and desire to help vulnerable people in our community, including domestic violence victims, the homeless, etc. I think it would be incredibly powerful if Emile stood in solidarity with these Wayfair workers and made a public statement of support. We know that children at the border are dying in US custody.; we know that migrants are being housed in unsafe conditions and separated from their children. Here’s a design company that’s profiting off of that. How incredible would it be for a voice in the industry to take a stand against that?

    With love,
    A long-time reader.

      1. Thanks for bringing that issue to light. I think it’s awful that kids have been separated from their parents. Absolutely devastating.
        I also think it’s good that they’ll have new beds. Maybe Wayfair will donate profits to RAICES, as employees are suggesting.

        1. I actually didn’t see that suggestion, so thanks for bringing it to my attention. If Wayfair wanted to donate ALL the profits to RAICES so that the kids could get beds but the company wasn’t profiting from inhumane detainment, that would be a better solution.

          One thing that’s relevant is that there is so much profiting going on here. ” Taxpayers pay $775 per child per night to detain separated migrant kids in those ‘concentration camps’. Cruelly detaining kids in Border Patrol camps will cost taxpayers more than it would to put the families up together in high-end hotels.” It’s staggering! I don’t want to support any company that’s profiting off of this. I’ve bought from Wayfair but I won’t in the future.

          1. Are you joking? This is unkindness? Where’s your outrage at the homeless living in filth on the streets in cities of California? What if Wayfair provided beds for those people who live in conditions that would rival any “concentration camp” .

    1. I’ve only read the headlines on this so far, but it seems to me like if Wayfair didn’t sell the government beds, the people who would suffer are the children? I know it’s a terrible and inhumanesituation arising from cruel actions on the part of our leaders, but someone has to sell the government food/furniture/toiletries to improve the care of the children?

    2. OMG. Thank you so much for sharing this. I will be sharing this with EVERYONE i know and on social media. The border detention centers (aka concentration camps) for children have been on my mind and heart and i’m so disgusted about the whole thing.
      I know this is a topic Emily cares about too since she wrote about it last year.

      As a conscious consumer, this is important.

      1. It would be so cool if Emily publicly vowed to stop including Wayfair in roundups and vowed not to use the company’s products in design projects unless they dramatically change their policy regarding profiting off of inhumane detentions at the border.

    3. I sincerely do not understand what the problem is with sending BEDS to children!!
      What is wrong here?? Where are your priorities – now Wayfair will not send beds – was this your goal? I do not understand the phony misplaced outrage.
      What is your real agenda?

      1. I agree with Kate. The government is buying beds for kids who don’t have them and that’s a problem? And noone is allowed to profit from selling someone beds? This doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe Wayfair could hire people who are looking for work since so many workers left. Lots of people are grateful for good jobs. Doesn’t seem like those employees were or even cared if the kids got beds. I hope Wayfair sold the beds and can hire people who need the work. My son is looking for work right now. . .

    4. I’m late to the party here on this question, but I was coming here on purpose to see if Emily had addressed the walkout. There was a conversation about in on Apartment Therapy, and I urged the AT staff to take some sort of moral stand on the topic…perhaps dropping Wayfair as a sponsor. Some of the same arguments are being made on AT as are being made here, including the idea that Wayfair shouldn’t prosper from supplying beds to ICE vs. the idea that if you don’t support Wayfair’s sale, then you support depriving children of beds (which is not a logical argument). In my opinion, if Wayfair is willing to supply beds to children, then it should do so for free as a public service. If it’s going to accept money from the transaction, then it should openly use that money to support efforts that advocate for migrant children. Businesses have power and can influence policy. Personally, I don’t buy the argument that “we sell to everyone” is just the way businesses run. Wayfair gets its products out there through agreements with sites like Apartment Therapy and this blog. I hope that Emily here and Maxewell at AT will step up to the plate and use their voices as influencers to convince Wayfair to put conscience over profits. Give away the beds so kids have beds, Wayfair, but be big enough to refuse to make a profit on a completely unnecessary, discriminatory, and cruel policy. I love Wayfair products, but I won’t be buying any more of them.

  2. What a fantastic roundup! Thank you! Do you have a source for the coffee table in the lead image? Thank you!

  3. Also, Target’s Carson horizontal (NOT the vertical, the vertical Carson is junk) bookcase is very stylish, sturdy and great for the price (also a good tv stand)! It’s similar to #21 horizontal, with a little less MCM flair.

    1. I have a few vertical Carson bookcases in my home, and I actually have had a very good experience with them. I have 2 black ones that are about 6 years old, in great shape. They hold my beloved book collection, and they were the first non-essential furniture purchase I ever made, so maybe they just hold a special place in my heart for that, but people tell me how fancy they look all the time, and then can’t believe when I say they’re just from Target. I also have 2 espresso ones that my sister in law gave me when she was moving and couldn’t take them with her – those two are 8 years old and have been moved several times, so they aren’t quite as sturdy, and I don’t think the espresso finish looks quite as high end, but they still do a great job corralling the binders, files, paper, etc. in my home office. Just wanted to share my experience in case someone read your comment and was discouraged about buying them – they’re a great inexpensive option in my opinion!

      1. Thanks for sharing. I wonder if they changed the quality in the recent past. I read the online reviews and they all sound much like yours! An that’s exactly how I feel about the horizontal one. But my vertical one fell short in the quality department. It looks good but it’s just not sturdy, it’s very rickety an not well made (but I kept it because I already had the matching horizontal one). Hopefully, then, mine is just a fluke. 🙂

        1. That sucks, I’m sorry! I know with mass produced furniture quality can vary over time. Here’s to hoping they fixed the quality control issue since you purchased yours!

  4. Hi Emily, You absolutely do have a math brain! Everyone does. Your beautiful designs require math. I’m a professor of math education and saying you don’t have a math brain perpetuates the misconception that only some people, mostly boys and men, are good at math. You have a beautiful math brain, Emily, and you use it every day in your work.

    1. Ryann authored this piece. I do agree that special relationships = math brain. 🙂

      1. ha! came to say the same. Yes, Ryann from our editorial team was the author of this piece. All bylines are right under the headlines so you know who is speaking!

  5. Thank you so much! These are the posts I keep coming back for! I’m moving to a smaller apartment (700 sq ft to 550 sq ft), and I’ve been thinking of taking my book cases vertical instead of horizontal which is what I currently have. Anyway, this is great food for thought, and I really appreciate posts that stick with interior design (just my 2 cents).

  6. These are very sweet looking bookcases, but none of them are large enough to hold my books. I’d LOVE to see you style out a legit home library though!

    1. ^^This! I would be in on that too! A home library or work-at-home office with LOTS of books would be awesome to see (budget room style, or a house tour of someone’s space, or reader submissions – whatever goes!). Not every work-at-home person has a job that requires lots of reference books, but many do. Personally, I am living amid an ocean of my spouse’s professional reference books and also his biblical study books.

    2. Yes! I hate seeing books used only as a design choice…they are that, too, but it’s not why I have them in my home.

    3. YES! I would love to see more bookshelves, filled over 80% with books, in EH designed rooms. Books of all shapes, sizes, and spine colors.

      I found it odd that this post is about books, and the lead image has like 10 books in it.

    4. Ha. You’re saying the “go big or go home” category wasn’t enough? I’m jealous of your book collection, then! I think a lot of these could be purchased in multiples and placed next to each other to create a larger wall of bookcases, even some from the Extra Tall and Wide category, but if you’re looking for more than than, maybe you just need custom shelving? A home library styling would be SO COOL to see!

      1. Another HUZZAH for the readers!! This is rather timely because I just researched for months to find a low bookshelves that are actually good for real book storage. And it was soooo difficult!!!

        Many shelves available (and on this list) wouldn’t be great for real book storage for a few key reasons :
        – Shelf heights that are too large for standard book sizes, thus not maximizing storage space.
        – Unenclosed shelf ends or sides which require the use of bookends! Traditional, L shaped bookends are not great to use (the metal ones you’ve seen in libraries everywhere) and decorative bookends take up too much space on the shelf if you do have full shelves.

        I agree with the above commenters – I’d love to see more home libraries or filled bookcases!

  7. Under tall bookcases, CB2 #26 Helix bookcase… I was set to buy 4 from CB2 but I found an awesome alternative from Home Depot. It’s the Theo ladder bookcase. It’s about half the price of CB2! We just set 4 of them up last week & they are great!

    1. Thanks, Natalie! I have also been looking for an alternative to the Helix and the Theo is less expensive and has great reviews! High-five!!!!

      1. Lol Rae, I high fived myself a few weeks ago when I found the knock-off! 🙂

        I was looking at Pinterest for Helix shelf styling ideas & the Home Depot one popped up!

  8. I too was an English major & I have hundreds of books. Thanks for the great array of bookcases!

  9. I was an English Lit major, too, and I don’t think any other major would have given me the same training in logic and reasoning, and, even more importantly, how to identify an “unreliable narrator.” Never be ashamed of saying you were an English major!

    Re: bookcases. My favorite all time is the barrister’s bookcase. My ideal home library would be a LARGE room with floor to ceiling open bookcases interspersed with shorter barrister’s bookcases…so there’d be room for art.

  10. Ellie, thanks for posting this comment. I had the same thought when I noticed a Wayfair affiliate link on yesterday’s EHD post and hesitated to comment because I wasn’t sure I’d get the tone right. You voiced what I am thinking too.

    EHD team, perhaps you would consider changing your Wayfair affiliate links to other sources?

  11. I’ve had great experience with various Room and Board bookcases when I’ve opted for ones I need to last. Made in America. Solid wood. Well-constructed. Clean design. Reasonable delivery costs.

  12. Whittier makes reasonably priced solid-wood bookshelves in a variety of sizes and shapes. They come either finished or unfinished. We assembled and stained 4 of them about 20 years ago and they have been loaded with books ever since. The shelves are not sagging a bit, and the shelves still look brand new. Their stuff is solid and much higher quality than the pricing would suggest.
    Take a look:
    The company also makes other styles — beds, dressers, tables, office furniture, and my favorite: a lift-top coffee table to enable those of us who enjoy eating dinner while watching TV.

  13. I love how versatile the ikea Vittsjo shelves are- we have 2 of the double width ones, and two of the singles, and love that I can line them up and make a big wall-O-books (which we did in our apartment) or have them scattered around (we just moved, and have one small one in the kitchen for cookbooks and overflow cookware, two in the living room, and one in the family room). They’re inexpensive and total style chameleons, big win in my book!

  14. These are great and I too especially like #6. I would love a post or roundup on room dividers. We recently moved and our entrance is into an open space with the dining room on one side and living room on the other side. My gut tells me a low book case would be great but it’s hard to find pictures of this.

  15. Thanks for a great post! I would love a follow-up post on ideas for decorating these bookcases . We have large built-in bookcases in our living room and I would love some tips on arranging the books/pictures/treasures/etc.

  16. For me it is about those chairs! I’ve read through most comments looking for the answer but not seeing. Could be that it’s late and my eyes are tired… would love to source them or similar. Many thanks. P.S. None of us are free till we all are. Love all the love here.

  17. I can not tell if my comment posted… not seeing it. I am loving the two chairs! Hoping for a source for those or similar…perhaps not from Way (un) fair:(

  18. Love all this info! Would love an article on how to style bookcases that are used for mostly books and not necessarily pretty books. I have teen readers and a husband who reads so think hardbacks, paper backs, most in good shape and all shapes and sizes. Love learning from you and your staff!

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