15 Bookshelves to Change How You Keep Stories

Books are more than just paper and glue. They are a works of art that hold other works of art. Here are some awesome examples to bring out your artistic side.

There are many ways to use books in décor. Sometimes the books themselves can become part of the architecture. But if you have so many books and no place to put them, then what good are they?

That is where bookshelves come in; from the simple to the ornate, from the classic to more modern shelving, bookshelves come in a wide variety guaranteed to fit any room’s size and style. Whether you are looking toward an artistic shelf or a practical one, these awesome examples should give you some great ideas of where to get started:

1. Books as Architecture

Here is an example of bookcases becoming a part of architectural design. The doorway to this bookstore invites you by an arch created by books. Definitely unique and more than a little precarious looking, this is probably not a practical design for books you would actually want to read, but it makes for a great talking point and something that no one will forget. Emphasizes a garden of books.


2. Balancing Act

This cool bookshelf is designed by carefully utilizing physics. Each box is balanced on a single point and can hold up to 120 lbs. The tilted nature of the shelves means there is no need for bookends, though the number of books it could actually hold is questionable (I know I have many more books than could fit in that shelf!). A very cool design and a great look for any modern home.

3. Branching Out

This simple bookshelf idea is inspired by nature: a white painted branch but it does so much. From holding books to hanging shirts and towels, you could come up with a hundred variations for this artistic addition to your wall. Even alone, it is a work of art. I am tempted to go find a branch myself, paint it white and fasten it to the wall!

4. Tickling the Ivories

These flexible, foldable bookshelves look like piano keys; mounted to the wall, they can be changed up to fit anything you want. From knickknacks to heavy books, these bookshelves can take it all. Best of all, you can personalize the way it looks and change it up anytime, even mounting the shelves vertically for a modern touch.

5. Wall of Books

Cleverness meets function—Why not create a bookshelf or room divider or wall out of books themselves? By simply connecting 90 degree shapes, any book collection can become part of the room décor, without damaging the precious stories (hard backed books work best for this project).

6. Books Helping Books

Keeping with the trend of unusual bookshelves, this bookshelf is made of books. Of course, destroying books is not the first choice I would make, but it is a cool recycling method for old or out of date books like encyclopedias. I love how perfect the books fit together to form shelves for their brothers.

7. Bookshelf Staircase

In a tiny apartment you have to grab space where you can. The designer of this apartment decided to create the ultimate combo: bringing together wasted space under and around the stairs, the designer created new found shelf space for the tenant’s huge book collection. I love the fact that the books are not only a safety addition, but no book will get stepped on in the process! Although finding the book you want remains a mystery.

8. Beehive Bookshelf

This is a very cool, modern looking shelf system, that my not be as practical as the other shelves. The beehive look is attractive, but the books seem to leave unneeded extra space. However they do look sturdy and capable of holding some serious weight!

9. Hanging Out in the Rafters

Time out at sea has inspired this space saving bookshelf; using exposed rafters for shelving is great if you are not worried about cluttering up the looks of the space. It likely helped that the ceiling is a little low in that room, allowing the books to actually be reached. Great use of empty space!

10. Yin and Yang

This peaceful bookshelf design is all about balance. A homemade creation, you can imagine taking the two halves apart a few inches for a different effect. Still, this would be a great shelf for an Asian themed room or for any modern space.

11. Book Wall for Nursery

This great display idea works as shelving, décor and easy access for children. Perfect in a nursery, the colorful covers of children’s books make this simple shelving a work of art, highlighted by color and size variety. Painted white and easy to install, this shelving took almost no time to complete but looks like a professional set it up! This ledge bookshelf layout is great idea for moms and dads everywhere.

 12. Dresser Bookshelf

The conflict of space often inspires some great ingenuity—what a great idea! Combining a child’s dresser with bookshelves not only frees up wall space but makes the whole piece very portable and easy to change up. The shelves are just the right height for little hands and it is very easy for kids to find their favorite books. All it took was some spice racks from Ikea, white paint, and a few screws.

13. The Walking Library

This circular bookshelf concept is cool in two ways: Not only does it hold half a ton of books, but you can easily move it from place to place by standing inside and walking. Like a hamster wheel, the bookshelf will move with you. I do not know how they keep the books from falling out, but the artist’s concept was making classic book collections portable. I think it would be a great way to redecorate without having to move the books and shelves one by one! If you tend to walk why you read, this is a fun solution (however unpractical it may be).

14. Books With Arms and Legs

This cool bookshelf concept is not the most practical, but it will definitely be a talking point. Created with bent nails, the arms and legs can be moved to fit whatever shape they need. Of course, how much of a shelf is it if it can only hold four books?

15. Invisible Bookshelf Stacker

The cool bookshelf idea will have your friends wondering how long the stack will stay together (tell them its magic). Instead of the typical horizontal shelving, stack your books vertically on this shelf. Once the shelf is filled it appears that the books are floating in a huge stack off the ground. The illusion works best if you have the largest books at the bottom and the smallest at the top. If a friend accidentally nudges it, their reaction will be to try to stop it from falling over, but with this shelf support, it will never fall (but don’t hold us to it). This shelf system is an awesome idea and a great way to save space.

These are just a few of the cool bookshelf designs that are out there. From the practical, to the unique, to the downright crazy, there is always some way you can store your books and show your style at the same time. So, before you plunk down the cash for an average bookshelf, think about what space you have and what design could better fit in with your life.

 What do you think of these? What are some of your favorite bookshelf designs?