If you weren’t blessed with a gorgeous built-in shelving unit and you’re looking to compete with some of the best bookshelves on your Instagram feed, you’re in luck. We consider ourselves experts when it comes to an aesthetically pleasing shelf—after all, we named Bookshelf Wealth the first interior trend of 2024. Perhaps you were tuning in during the internet’s fascination with color-coded bookshelves, or maybe you’ve run the (sometimes astronomical) cost of custom wall-mounted open shelves, or have attempted DIY bookshelf projects for years. Whatever the case, there’s something that can’t be denied: Seeing all of your favorite books neatly arranged among carefully curated trinkets and treasured collectibles just makes you feel good.
The good news is that order doesn’t necessarily have to come with an outrageous price tag, and you don’t have to settle for wood veneer or particle board options. We’ve been gathering inspo from Clever homeowners for years—Billys reimagined! Stylishly upgraded garage storage!—and have quite a few tricks up our sleeves when it comes to finding the best bookcases and best bookshelves that will spare your credit card, make your home look great, and (hopefully) give you a little satisfaction.
This is a classic bookshelf design that will grow with you as you move from home to home. One of the greatest aspects is the versatility—the vibe of this modern bookshelf really depends on what you fill it with. The slight footprint and minimalist, freestanding silhouette makes it easy to slip in any unused corner or wall. Our recommendation: Dedicate it to all of the books on your to be reading list, whether that means loading it with English lit staples or interior design inspo.
VASAGLE Wood Bookcase
When it comes to storage, we say the more the merrier. In fact, we think that doubling up on this modular case is a great idea that will save you space in the long run.
Maydear Dousy Ladder Bookcase
If your home already feels bogged down with stuff, opt for a leaning bookshelf or ladder bookcase that gives the illusion of space and airiness. The price tag and simple pine wood make this five-level ladder-style bookshelf ideal for book storage in small spaces.
The Floyd Shelving System
Made with the minimalist decorator in mind, Floyd’s designs magically blend in and stand out in any space. Their shelving system comes in a Scandi-inspired silhouette, but with a dash of forest green for the minimalist who’s ready to experiment with color. You can also purchase it in 13 different configurations and two different wood types.
Trenton Ladder Shelf with Mirror
This ladder-style bookshelf has a round mirror at its crown, perfect for placing near your front door for last-minute book grabs. You’ll never be stuck on the subway, bus, or riding passenger in the car without a good read again.
Castlery Esther Bookshelf
Featuring alternating marble and dark walnut shelves, this mid-century-inspired bookshelf is an ideal space for displaying all of your favorite tomes and decorative items. The gold frame offers a subtle classiness and the contrast in colors makes it a focal point without drawing too much attention.
Talan Corner Bookcase
If you’re after a splash of color, this sunshiny corner bookshelf will draw eyes. It is available in four other colors, just in case mustard yellow isn’t quite what you’re after.
New Order Bookshelf
If you’re into the utility-shelf style, this powder-coated aluminum design from Hay doesn’t stray far from the tried-and-true silhouette. It’s the boost of color—a bright farmhouse red—that brings this bookshelf into 2023. There are 11 configurations total, meaning you can build upon a single shelf to create an entire system.
String Floor Shelving by Nils Strinning
A midcentury design that still looks fresh today, the String shelving system is beyond easy to install and customize.
Nathan James Theo 5-Shelf Modern Bookcase
Amazon has tons of versatile shelving solutions, like this modern-looking wall/mount bookcase that’s ideal for narrow spaces. Available in a wide range of colors and finishes, as well as options from three to six shelves, this highly customizable pick is a quick assembly and will hold even your heaviest knickknacks.
IRONCK Triple Wide Six-Tier Bookshelf
Another one of Amazon’s best sellers, here’s a three-in-one bookcase that’s perfect for anyone looking to really maximize their storage. Solidly constructed with a metal frame and sturdy MDF boards, this industrial-style fixture features a whopping 17 open shelves, which you can use to showcase all your heavy books or maybe tuck away some miscellaneous items in some handy storage bins.