There are plenty of thoughts about what the contents of your bookshelf mean—about your personality, your life, and your wallet. I would love a shelf full of signed first editions, but I’ll save that for the day I can afford to drive two Lambos and shop at Whole Foods (the Lambos will be black and red, and my mansion will have a swimming pool on the roof). But what about the actual shelf? In our quest to overanalyze everything in our lives, we must leave no stone unturned.
1. Basic Bookshelf
You have books. You need somewhere to put them. You’re the person who spends more time actually working on a project than dreaming about completing it—or concocting excuses to procrastinate. Good for you. You’ll go far, my friend.
2. Cube Bookshelf
You may or may not use this shelf for books. You bought it for books, but a plant looked so nice in the cube shape that you decided to offset your books with some greenery. Then a few candles took another slot. Then the stuffed hippo your mom sent you for Christmas. Before you knew what was happening, your bookshelf was filled with knickknacks, and your books were stacked against the wall of your bedroom. No problem, though. They’re closer that way.
3. Modular Bookshelf
You are the person in line for frozen yogurt who gets a dollop of each flavor and a spoonful of each topping. You just can’t make up your mind, and permanence is not for you (the closest you get to a tattoo is the doodles your nephew draws on your hand with washable marker). Committing to this bookshelf was easy because it changes as readily as your mind.
4. Corner Bookshelf
You live in a very small apartment, and stuffing your books under the bed was not going to cut it. People ask you, “Why don’t you sell some? You’d have more room and money.” You ask them, “Why don’t you sell your first-born?”
5. Antique Bookshelf
You can’t afford that rare book collection, but by golly you can make your books look older by surrounding them with antique wood. It cost too much, but it was a solid investment, really. You’ll have this thing for a long time. I mean, it’s already lasted a hundred years. Or that’s what you tell your houseguests. You actually bought it at the thrift store for twenty bucks.
6. Bookshelf with Frosted Glass
It’s a conversation piece. “Look at my barrister bookcase. It’s really a work of art. Really.” You lie to yourself and say it’s about aesthetic appeal, when really the frosted glass hides the fact that your book collection consists entirely of young adult novels you haven’t touched in ten years and questionable titles from the free book bin that smell like mildew.
7. Metal Bookshelf
Your books are your pride and joy. Not even a hurricane is going to tear them away from you. It’s okay, I get it. That sucker is bolted down. And see those chains, honey? They’re not just for decoration. You also have a store of water and canned meats in your basement. Just in case.
8. Glass Bookshelf
You are the person with books organized by spine color. Your home is entirely white, and you do not have children. Or pets. Or guests. But when you die, your house will become a museum. Just please leave me your book collection. But not the shelf. I’d break it.
9. Floating Bookshelf
You have too much wall space and too much free time—most of which is spent on Pinterest. But you can make a mean salad in a mason jar.
10. Bookshelf Beneath Staircase
You are super-handy because face it, no home comes with a pre-installed bookshelf beneath the staircase. But every home should. Where do they expect us to keep our Harry Potter collection?
Find your bookshelf/shelves, and tell me what you think! Is it spot on, or did I completely miss the mark? Also, “bookshelf” or “bookcase”? Or “horizontal rack full of joy”?
Leave your thoughts in the comments!
Author & Editor