The 11 Best Bookcases For Lots Of Books

The best bookcases for lots of books
GaudiLab / Shutterstock

For book lovers, finding new reads isn’t usually a problem — but finding the right place to store them can be a challenge. The best bookcases for lots of books come in a huge range of sizes and styles, so you'll definitely want to opt for a model that fits your space and decor. Also consider that if you own a lot of books, your collection is probably quite heavy, which means a flimsier case won't do; make sure you choose a bookcase that is designed to carry at least 20 pounds per running foot — or even more if you own a lot of hefty textbooks or hardcovers.

When considering the weight your shelves will be carrying, keep in mind that shelves can sag over time when they’re overloaded — even if they seem totally fine when you first load them up. (Trust me, I’ve made this mistake before!) That's why you should always make sure to check the weight capacity for the shelves to ensure that they won’t buckle under the pressure. If you’re looking for a bookshelf that can handle lots of big, heavy books (which can weigh up to 50 pounds per running foot), opt for a model with solid wood shelves. That said, while solid wood tends to be stronger than manufactured wood materials, bookshelves are also commonly constructed from manufactured wood materials. It's fine to go with either type of material, but manufactured wood might be better-suited to a collection of paperback books rather than textbooks. Regardless of which material is used, the manufacturer should clearly list the weight capacity of each shelf — if they don’t, you’ll run the risk of getting flimsy shelves.

Weight capacity isn't the only thing to look for in a bookcase. Depending on the types of books you own, you may find that different shelf styles may work best for your needs. Adjustable shelves, which can be moved around to accommodate taller books, can be quite convenient if you have both short and tall books. Deep shelves can be useful for storing children’s books, as picture books are commonly as large as 10 inches long. Units with cubbies can also assist in keeping different genres organized.

From tall industrial-style shelving units to more traditional-looking bookshelves, here are nine bookcases that are up to the task of storing all of your favorite reads.

1. A Large Bookcase That Can Hold 600 Pounds Of Books

With a capacity of 120 pounds per shelf, this HSH Bookcase is cut out for the heavy lifting that books require. The frame is made of square steel tube with an X-shaped bracket in the back for extra support, and each shelf is made of solid wood. The bookcase comes in four different heights, ranging from a short two-shelf model to this five-shelf beauty.

It's always a good idea to secure bookshelves to the wall, especially tall ones, and this bookcase comes with a kit that allows you to safely anchor it. Anchor aside, according to the manufacturer, the bookcase only takes about 20 minutes to assemble. If you’re not happy with it, you can return it for a refund within 30 days.

If you have any concerns about using a bookshelf with open sides, here's a tip: Stack a few books horizontally at the ends of each shelf or snag some unique bookends to keep your reads in line.

Positive Amazon review: “Very nice, stable bookcase. Love the shelves and overall appearance. Parts were well packaged and assembly was pretty straight forward. Definitely worth it, would buy again.”

  • Assembled dimensions: 47.2 by 9.1 by 70 inches (width by depth by height)
  • Weight capacity: 120 pounds per shelf
  • Available colors: 1
  • Assembly time: ~20 minutes

2. A Folding Bookcase Made of Solid Wood

There's something about the simple design of this folding bookcase that reminds me of a library book cart, and I am here for it. According to the manufacturer, the whole bookcase is made of solid wood and it’s true to its name. The bookcase folds up flat when it’s not in use. (Imagine how much easier moving would be if all bookshelves were foldable!) All you need is a Phillips screwdriver to assemble it. In addition to this dark espresso finish, it’s available in several other wood finishes well .

Positive Amazon review: “It is very sturdy loaded completely with soft and hard bound books. It looks stylish in my room and adds to the decor.”

  • Assembled dimensions: 27.5 x 11.5 x 38 inches (width by depth by height)
  • Weight capacity: not specified
  • Available colors: 13
  • Assembly time:

3. A Sturdy Corner Shelf For Your Books

Maximize the oft-wasted space of an unused corner with this X-cosrack five-tier bookcase. Black metal framing, polygonal wood boards, and interlaced grid plates give this bookcase a rustic industrial aesthetic that’s sturdy and stylish. It can hold 30 pounds of books per shelf and feels quite strong according to reviewers. Each shelf measures just under 14 inches tall, which is plenty of clearance for many books.

Positive Amazon review: “I absolutely love the shelf. Definitely anchor it to the wall if you have small children or cats. I had it put together in 20 minutes so it was very easy. Very good quality.”

  • Assembled dimensions: 20.75 x 14.69 x 56.5 inches (width by depth by height)
  • Weight capacity: 30 pounds per shelf
  • Availble colors: 1
  • Assembly time: ~30 minutes

4. A Sleek Ladder Bookshelf That Attaches To The Wall

I researched many ladder bookshelves and was surprised that most of the ones I came across simply weren't cut out for the weight of books — but this 6-shelf bookcase is certainly an exception! Each of its six shelves is designed to carry 55 pounds. The metal frame and laminate wood shelves look super sleek, and it comes in versions with three, four, and five shelves, as well as in a variety of finishes. You can even grab a model with a drawer at the bottom. And while I'm doling out tips, here's another one: Consider purchasing two or three to line up and easily create an impactful wall of books.

The bookcase attaches to the wall, and all you need is scissors and a Phillips head screwdriver to assemble it in under an hour. Foot protectors help to keep your flooring free from scratches. If you don’t love the bookshelf, you can return it within 90 days.

Positive Amazon review: “I love the look of this book case. It was easy to put together and attach to the wall. Holds a ton of books and looks great.”

  • Assembled dimensions: 30 by 12 by 85 inches (width by depth by height)
  • Weight capacity: 55 pounds per shelf
  • Available colors: 18
  • Assembly time: ~40 minutes

5. A Low Bookcase With Organizational Cubbies

If you're looking to organize your book collection, give this Bush Furniture organizer a try. Use the cubbies to group books by genre, color, size, or however your heart desires. Each of the six cubbies has a capacity of 25 pounds, and the top of the shelf has a 50-pound capacity. (So go ahead and display some of your favorite books on top!) The two center cubbies are fixed in place and measure 11.9 inches tall and 14.4 inches wide, but the other two shelves are height-adjustable, which can come in handy if you need to accommodate taller books. The tapered legs and curved base rails add a fancy flair to this bookcase.

It comes with Bush Furniture’s one-year warranty. In addition to this Antique White finish, it's available in white, gray, and black, as well as a version with doors. It's made from manufactured wood.

Positive Amazon review: “Love this bookshelf I brought it for my office and it’s perfect. I brought the off while color and it’s more of a light cream or tan. It’s very sturdy and can hold a lot of llarge size books. The shelves are also big enough to get 2 rows of books on them. Assembly was also very easy took about 25 -35 min to put together but everything is labeled appropriately and I had no missing pieces. Great buy it looks like this will hold up forever!”

  • Assembled dimensions: 48 by 14 by 30 (width by depth by height)
  • Weight capacity: 75 pounds per shelf (25 pounds per cubby)
  • Available colors: 4
  • Assembly time: not specified

6. A Space-Saving Narrow Bookcase

If you're on the hunt for a bookcase to fit in a narrow space, take a look at this rustic three-tier bookcase. It has a small footprint but stands 6 feet tall and each of its five compartments has a capacity of 16 pounds. You can even add baskets for other kinds of storage if you'd like. It comes in three other colors available in white and gray finishes. To assemble the bookshelf, you'll need a hammer, Phillips head screwdriver, flathead screwdriver, and about an hour of time.

Positive Amazon review: “This was very easy to assemble. The wood like finish is perfect and I love that it’s not as wide as a normal bookshelf. However, I was surprised still at how many books I could fit on it! I originally bought this for a tight space in our upstairs hallways for kids books, but liked it so much I bought another one for our living room.”

  • Assembled dimensions: 17.72 x 12.01 x 72.01 (width by depth by height)
  • Weight capacity: 16 pounds per shelf
  • Available colors: 4
  • Assembly time: ~35 minutes

7. A Unique Tree Bookcase That Holds A Suprising Amount Of Books

This tree-style bookshelf is another fantastic space-saving option. It takes up only a small area of floor space measuring less than 16 inches wide and can hold plenty of books. Each of the nine shelves support up to 11 pounds of books that stack vertically on top of each another. The bottom features a wide support area and strong base to keep the shelf balanced. Aesthetically, a tree bookshelf can add uniqueness and charm to your space. Assembly is quick and easy and takes less than 20 minutes.

Positive Amazon review: “This was super quick & easy to assemble. Really fun design. Very sturdy product. Holds a LOT of books! I'd buy it again”

  • Assembled dimensions: 15.7 x 7.9 x 50.8 inches (width by depth by height)
  • Weight capacity: 11 lbs per shelf
  • Available colors: 3
  • Assembly time: ~20 minutes

8. A Bookcase With A Sliding Glass Doors

To elevate your space — and book collection, this Ameriwood Home bookcase features elegant sliding glass doors that can create a real display out of your books. Of the four shelves, two are adjustable and each shelf can hold up to 20 pounds. For some, this bookcase looks smaller in person than it appears in the pictures, but the dimensions listed are accurate. One fan noted, “most of my books are 9 inches wide and they all fit perfectly.” Reviewers also report that assembly may take some time but instructions are straightforward and easy to understand.

Positive Amazon review: “This Bookcase was easy to assemble and looks beautiful! It was a great price! It is great for books or personal treasures to put on display!”

  • Assembled dimensions: 31.75 x 13 x 51 inches (width by depth by height)
  • Weight capacity: 20 lbs per shelf
  • Available colors: 6 including black, white, gray, and yellow
  • Assembly time: not specified

9. A Traditional & Sturdy Bookcase In A Variety Of Wood Finishes

Classic, timeless and simple, this five-shelf bookcase from Sauder Select is large enough for your entire book collection and it’s reportedly very sturdy. The top two shelves are adjustable and can hold up to 30 pounds each while the fixed center shelf can support up to 40 pounds. The bottom shelf is also adjustable and can hold up to a whopping 50 pounds of books and other items. This bookcase is available in a range of gorgeous wood finishes, including cherry, oak, and chestnut. According to reviewers, assembly is rather easy, but it can take anywhere from an hour to three hours to assemble.

Positive Amazon review: “I bought four of these for a ‘library’ in our house. I could not be more impressed with how nice they look. Gives the room a very ‘formal’ appearance. Three of the five shelves are easily adjustable in 5 positions. One of the bookcases had a defective sideboard as received. A quick call to Sauder resulted in a perfectly matching replacement board arriving in less than a week. With proper care, I see no reason these won't last a lifetime!”

  • Assembled dimensions: 31.75 x 13 x 51 inches (width by depth by height)
  • Weight capacity: 30 — 50 lbs depending on the shelf
  • Available colors: 6
  • Assembly time: ~1 — 3 hours

10. An S-shaped Industrial Bookcase

This s-shaped bookcase is another features a modern industrial aesthetic and according to reviewers, there’s plenty to love about it. For starters, it can hold a ton of books and is incredibly sturdy. Each of the five shelves can hold up to 48 pounds. The wood boards themselves are supported with iron frames while anti-toppling wall anchors ensure the bookcase stays standing upright and strong. Plus, it looks great no matter where you decide to put it whether that’s a part of an entertainment center in the living room or at the end of a narrow hallway.

Positive Amazon review: “I was able to put this together myself (I rate myself 3/5 stars in regards to handiness, generally). It looks great and is able to sturdily hold all my books, which are mostly hardcovers. Will be purchasing a second because I apparently have a book addiction.

  • Assembled dimensions: 31.75 x 13 x 51 inches (width by depth by height)
  • Weight capacity: 30 — 50 lbs depending on the shelf
  • Available colors: 6
  • Assembly time: ~30 minutes

11. A Compact Cubed Bookcase In A Sleek Glossy Finish

If you’re looking for a bookcase that’s sleek, modern, and compact, this cubed bookshelf is easy to imagine in any space. “It’s just the right size and holds tons of books,” one reviewer gushed. It features a highly glossy finish and and upright open design with seven different componarents that are perfect for storing your books, plus other decor and knick-knacks you wish to display. Each of the three shelves can hold up to 35 pounds. While the legs offer additional support, they’re also an aesthetic feature as well that add to this bookcase’s modern look and feel.

Positive Amazon review: “This is the nicest bookshelf I've ever owned. Really good quality and sturdy. Attractive appearance and looks really nice in my living room. Plenty of space whether you are using storage baskets or bins or showing off your pictures, books, or collections. The feet on this are a nice added touch and I like that it adds extra height. I highly recommend this due to its great quality and sleek design!”

  • Assembled dimensions: 31.5 x 9.45 x 43.31 inches (width by depth by height)
  • Weight capacity: 35 lbs per shelf
  • Available colors: 3
  • Assembly time: not specified