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There’s something magical about books and bookworms know it. Whether it’s the smell of fresh ink or the excitement of turning each page, many avid readers have an affinity for the printed word. While they may have purchased a Kindle — or reluctantly accepted one from a friend — paperbacks and hardbacks still hold a special place in their hearts. It’s why people search for the best cheap bookcases every year.
If you, too, have a fascination with books — and an impressive collection to prove it — now may be the perfect time to upgrade your display. Show off beloved classics, your favorite who-done-its, and your writer friend’s most recent bestseller with these best cheap bookcases.
1. Furinno Turn-N-Tube Corner Square Display
Small spaces call for smaller storage solutions — like a corner display shelf. While this square bookcase might not look like much, it features five shelves that can hold a total of 50 pounds worth of books. They’re small shelves that maximize your available vertical space. If you have other decor pieces you’d like to show off, things like succulent planters and picture frames will find a happy home on this bookshelf.
Plus, you can choose from a variety of finishes and designs to match your apartment’s aesthetic. Assemble this bad boy in minutes, stick it in a corner, and show off your colorful book collection in style.
2. Gruen 3-Tier Open-Shelf Bookcase
Are you looking for something a bit more heavy-duty? This three-tier bookcase should do the trick. Its simple design can match all kinds of decor, and the smooth finish means it’s super easy to clean. Hide your more racy novels in the storage cabinet at the bottom and display the rest of your collection on the three shelves above.
Each one is sturdy enough to hold 15 pounds of paperbacks and the whole thing — sans novels — only weighs 24.6 pounds. There’s no need to worry about hauling it up to your second-floor apartment or moving it indoors after your delivery arrives.
3. Convenience Concepts SoHo Bookcase
If you’re just beginning to build your book collection, you probably don’t need a giant bookcase. Stick with something simple by adding a Concepts SoHo bookcase to your living room or home office. The contemporary design features a weathered finish and tempered glass base.
Plus, the hollow core construction promotes a more open-concept feel and allows everyone to take a peek at the newest additions to your reading list. Everything you need to put it together comes in the box. Clean the glass sides when you finish constructing it so it looks magazine-ready.
4. Adjustable Desktop Display Shelf
Do you take frequent reading breaks throughout the workday? Prevent novels from piling up on your desk and maintain a clutter-free workspace with an adjustable desktop display shelf.
This design comes in four different colors and two pieces. Push them together or pull them apart to alter the shape and fit books and decorations of various shapes and sizes. You can even fully overlap the two shelves or arrange them at an angle to take advantage of corner spaces.
If you don’t have a desk in your living space, you can also fit this nicely on a kitchen counter. Get two and flip one around — you could even use them as book ends on an existing bookshelf to maximize your existing storage space.
5. Atlantic 4-Tier Rotating Cube
If you have an affinity for romance and mystery novels, you probably have a plethora of small, stocky books lying around. These tiny paperbacks tend to look quite awkward on a typical bookcase but will fit perfectly in this four-tier rotating cube shelf.
Each cube is nearly 6 inches deep, 11.5 inches wide, and 8 inches high. Plus, three of the four tiers rotate a full 360 degrees, so you can find your favorite novel in seconds. Use it as the focal point in your living room or an artful decoration in the corner of your office.
6. Briteman S-Shaped Ladder Shelf
The ladder shelf trend has been around for years now, but this S-shaped version puts a refreshing spin on the classic design. A metal frame, thick steel tubes, and hollow-core panels ensure better load-bearing, and each shelf can hold up to 30 pounds.
Put it together yourself or enjoy expert assembly service at an additional cost. No matter which method you choose, you’ll have new furniture in your home that looks like it belongs in an art museum or a professionally designed house.
7. Legault Geometric Bookcase
Eco-friendly bookworms will love this recycled bookcase from our list of the best cheap bookcases. Its simple, modern style makes the five-tier shelf versatile and aesthetically pleasing. A staggered rectangle design increases the load-bearing and makes this piece even more beautiful and intriguing.
Choose between a white or rustic brown finish to find a color that best suits your home. It should match the furniture you already own to prevent visual clashes from happening. Even when it matches, this stunning bookshelf will never blend into the background. It’s a nice accent to any room, especially mid-century or modern interior design schemes.
8. Bamboo Tree Bookshelf
Whether you love the contemporary style or prefer bohemian interiors, this tree-shaped bookcase is sure to complement your unique aesthetic. Its one-of-a-kind design features seven shelves, each one capable of holding five to 10 books.
Solid bamboo wood promotes durability and its vertical shape makes it ideal for corridors, small rooms, and libraries already brimming with books. Plus, anti-inverted parts and round edges make this bookcase a safe choice for anyone with small children or curious pets. It’s one of the best cheap bookcases because it combines safety with style.
9. Modern Wood Bookcase With Metal Frame
Of course, bookworms with a huge collection might need an option from the best cheap bookcases that’s a bit bigger if they want to keep all their novels in one place.
That’s where this 5-foot, open-standing bookcase might come in handy. Its wood shelves and metal frame lend themselves well to farmhouse, industrial, or modern aesthetics. Four tiers offer plenty of storage, and anti-slip foot pads eliminate wobbling for extra stability.
10. Room Essentials 5-Shelf Bookcase
If you’re a minimalist or simply appreciate clean, crisp lines, a basic, five-shelf bookcase will serve you well. At just under 6 feet tall, this spacious vertical bookcase is the perfect place to organize novels and display plants and other decor.
Plus, adjustable, open shelves allow you to rearrange your collection whenever and however you please. Use the anchoring hardware kit to improve the safety of your beloved books and household members.
This bookcase also comes with a secret bonus — the shelves are removable. Metal plugs slide in and out of tiny holes within the siding, all one inch apart. You could make the bottom shelf much taller to store large baskets or blankets.
Remember that one extra-tall book you always have to store sideways? Reposition these shelves so it finally fits upright. You’ll banish literary clutter and gain a permanently customizable piece of decor.
11. 8-Cube Organizer Shelf
Cube organizers are all the rage these days, so it’s no surprise that bookworms are using them to store and display their collections. This particular shelf features eight 11-ounce cubbies with a weight capacity of 15 pounds per shelf.
Add colorful fabric boxes for a unique and practical touch and position the shelf vertically or horizontally, depending on your living space. All you need is a screwdriver and a hammer to assemble it. People use it both vertically and horizontally, depending on their available space. You could even remove the optional backing if you’d prefer an open design.
12. Elite Media Storage Bookcase
Avid readers who have been gathering books for multiple years will likely need something bigger than anything that’s been on this list thus far. To them, a five-tier shelf simply doesn’t provide enough space.
Luckily, the elite media storage bookcase is here to save the day. Seven fixed shelves can hold hundreds of books and a slim-profile design maximizes space without sacrificing style. In other words, you’re probably getting the biggest bang for your buck with this shelf. The metallic carbon-fiber backing ensures your vintage music collection or books won’t accidentally push through and fall behind the bookcase.
13. Wabansia Ladder Bookcase
Are you a sucker for those whimsical ladder bookcases? You’re not alone! Thanks to their versatile style and incredible functionality, these chic storage solutions are still popping up in homes all over the world.
Luckily, this one is relatively inexpensive because it’s one of the best cheap bookcases. Use it to display your books without the extra guilt of going over your budget. Try searching for ways to decorate a ladder bookcase to make this purchase even better. People often hang string lights around them or drape throw blankets to give it a cozy vibe.
14. Glitzhome A-Frame Bookcase
If you do have a little extra cheddar to spend on a unique and functional bookcase, add the Glitzhome A-frame bookshelf to your list for consideration. This sturdy ladder bookshelf features high-quality particleboard with walnut melamine and an unusual design that’s sure to turn heads.
If you do purchase this particular shelf, remember to get some bookends as well since the shelves are open. They’ll keep your books safe if you have more than a few. A smaller collection could also look right at home if you store the books in artfully arranged horizontal stacks.
Choosing From the Best Cheap Bookcases for Your Needs
The best cheap bookcases are ones that fit all your books. So take some measurements and count your novels.
Measure the space in which you plan to put your shelf, too. Do you want it to sit vertically or horizontally? Finally, consider your style and which materials might best complement your aesthetic.
If you keep these details in mind, you’re sure to choose a functional and beautiful bookcase to suit your needs and support your growing collection.
Original Publish Date April 23, 2021 — Updated 11/29/2023