Ever since the Industrial Revolution and invention of the Printing Press, bookshelves have become a necessity and a must-have in every household. They are not only meant for storage of books but also to display the refined taste and culture of the owner and family of the house. In other words, bookshelves showcase the standard, taste, and culture of a family or household. Apart from such reasons of legacy, bookshelves not only keep the books handy but also enhance the décor of the house.
Even if you are not the reading type, even if not a bookworm; a bookshelf speaks a lot about your good taste. Bookshelf and books placed on them, make for a great conversation piece, a great ice-breaker. Even in these times of net, mobile phone, and satellite TV, a well-read person always commands respect. Nothing endorses this, more than a couple of bookshelves.
Choosing From Broad Categories of Bookshelves – Types of Bookcases
Even in small houses, there is always space for one bookshelf or two. Well if space is an issue for you, you can check some clever space saving ideas. Often there may be old antique bookshelves lying around, which can be put to good use. Or, you can buy a new bookshelf. Before you embark on such a journey, you must have a first-hand knowledge of the bare essentials. Bookshelves can be categorized or classified upon several criteria, a few of which are presented here.
One can classify the bookshelves on the basis of materials used in them. The earlier bookshelves were all made of wood, just as all furniture was made of wood. Now, metal frame bookshelves are most popular. Many bookshelves are made entirely of metal, or metal and glass. Some metal frame bookshelves contain wood, laminate, marble or stone shelves, depending on the design, style and placement of the bookshelf.
Choosing a design is a personal choice and often dictated by the budget, preferences and the contextual design elements where the bookshelf is to be installed or placed.
While choosing the style for the bookshelves, remember that it is a durable material that will last for decades. So, whether it should have a classic look or contemporary look, is more of a personal choice. Also, the style of the bookshelf must jell, or be in harmony with its surroundings and should not look out of place.
For a small house, a few appropriate and suitable types of bookshelves are suggested here. You must familiarize yourself with these so that you can make a wise decision when you finally order your bookshelf.
11 Different Types & Styles of Bookshelves for Small Houses
1. Corner Bookshelf – Small Bookshelves
The corner bookshelf is one of the simplest yet most useful designs in bookshelves. It sits in the corner of the room, so the inaccessible portion is well utilized. Moreover, when placed in a corner, the delicate and fragile art and décor pieces are well protected and kept away from mishaps and damages.
2. Barrister Bookshelf – Bookshelves for Small Spaces
These are the kind of bookshelves that you find in the office of every barrister or lawyer of repute. They are designed to hold thick volumes of books and journals on Law and Court decisions. They are built strong and sturdy and have a translucent glass door with wooden frames. The glass front allows them to look at the bound journals and locate the ones required to be taken out. The wood used is generally durable and expensive like mahogany or teak.
3. Leaning Ladder Bookshelf
The Leaning ladder bookshelf is generally made of metal so that it is sturdy and when propped up against a wall at an angle, it can stand and support books. This bookshelf with ladder is one of the most contemporary and loved bookshelf of this period. Since the shape is meant to lean, the bookshelf frame may look tilted, however, the shelves are kept horizontal.
4. Glass Bookshelf
Glass bookshelves are basically those where the base or support and sidewalls are made of strong thick glass panes. They are held together or supported by shining chromium-plated metal or stainless steel frames. Their minimalist design looks very alluring and clean. One can also have an all-glass bookshelf, instead of metal and glass.
5. Industrial Bookshelf
Industrial bookshelves give the look and feel as if one is inside a factory. The frames are made of bold heavy industrial metallic angles or channels. Sometimes even steel piping may be used along with industrial angle joints or plumbing style fittings. It has a unique period and place look, which is a mix of masculine and tough. This quaint looking bookshelf is a sure attention-grabber and conversation piece.
6. Invisible Bookshelf
This bookshelf makes the books look like they are hanging in the air! As the name suggests, Invisible bookshelf is made out of or supported by slim metal strips that screw directly onto the wall. The flipside is that it cannot be used for a heavier load and large stacks of books. It may support up to 10 kgs of load and the books should be stacked up to a height of one and a half feet only, to truly create the illusion of Invisible bookshelf.
7. Booktree Bookshelf
Booktree shelves are shaped like a tree, the tree trunk shape forms the vertical support and branches serve as shelves for keeping books. It gives the feeling of being outdoors in a park or garden.
8. Bookworm Bookshelf
Bookworm bookshelves are made of metal extrusion, most often aluminum, as it is a very light yet strong material. It is shaped in a wavy curve to look like a wriggling worm. You are free to experiment with the shape and choose the kind of curves that you like.
9. Cube Bookshelf
Cube bookshelves are in the shape of cubes, which means they have the same height and breadth. One can have a bigger bookshelf composed of several such small cubes, either in symmetrical or asymmetrical shape.
10. Check Bookshelf
The word “check” here means the check-mark or the tick mark which is shaped like a stylized letter “V” with a longer tail. The Check bookshelf, generally made of wood, is shaped like a check mark.
11. Metal Bookshelf
Metal bookshelves are those which are made out of metal or primarily use metal with other type of materials like, glass, wood, laminate, marble etc. They can be lighter and slim in looks, as metal is more durable and can hold far more weight. Metal also allows flexibility in shapes and design, and are especially suitable for modern and industrial design shapes.
These are just a few illustrative, and not exhaustive, types of bookshelves that you can install in your house if ample space is your constraint.