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3.67  ·  Rating details ·  233 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Bookcases are so much more than just a place to store one’s books. They've become experiments in engineering and explorations into modern art, covetable in their own right. Financial analysts at Bloomberg have even used the IKEA Billy bookcase as an index of economic growth.

In these pages you will find plenty of inspiration and diversity, from “Juxtaposed,” a shelf capital
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 20th 2012 by Thames & Hudson Inc.
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3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  233 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
sometimes when i am forced to shelve the art cart in the morning, i get a little distracted. there are so many interior design books about how to live with and display the books you have. and they intrigue me, because i know there has got to be a better solution to how i live now than:



so i flip through.

and there's Books Make a Home: Elegant Ideas for Storing and Displaying Books, which is great, as far as drooly book-porn goes, but basically, its suggestions are:

1) have a really nice apartment
Megan (ReadingRover)
This book includes a fabulous array of amazing bookshelves. They come in all shapes and sizes. There is one to go with every type of decor and they are made of all different materials. This book is basically book shelf porn for bibliophiles!
Jan 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: artwork, non-fiction
Visual porn of bookshelves and books, but really far too much on the side of bookshelves and not enough of books. What I mean is, they're all artsy and that's great as art but as a practical way of storing books? Most of them are totally unappealing.

There are some good thoughts -- a book rocking chair, for example, could store the books I'm currently reading so I don't have to get up if I want to switch...
May 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
An excellent example of something that's a good idea for a blog, but a complete waste of time as a book. I paged through it in about an hour, thinking mostly, "Ah, yes, bookshelves for people who don't really read. Gotcha."

A consistent tipoff to this sort of nonsense is any sort of trompe l'oeil effect designed to make people think you own more books than you actually do, represented here by wallpaper made of photographs of actual bookcases. This is an especially dumb idea, since the problem bo
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Super-quick read with fantabulous photos of bookshelves and inspiration. Fun stuff. This book would be a lovely addition to ANY bookshelf. :)
Amber Polo
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-research
A picture book for book (shelf) lovers.
Gorgeous photographs of artful book shelves for storing books not on your kindle. My favorite was "Set 26" (an entire alphabet of letter-shaped furniture.
Other fun photos feature book wallpaper and a bookshelf print dress.
Lots of ultra modern engineered whimsy. Most too asymmetrical and angular for my taste.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
A nice little gem of a photo book for book lovers. Love the photos, which have inspired me to make some of my own customized shelves. The main drawback was the extremely small font of the descriptions. A much better design would have to enlarged the text adjacent to each photo.

I especially enjoyed:
p. 53 Varvis
p.119 Storylines
p.138 Sinapsi
p.139 Off the Wall (3D wallpaper)
p.146 Bibliochaise
p.195 Vintage Bookshelf Wallpaper

Recommended as a tidy gift for your favorite book lover, creative, or make
Sotiris Makrygiannis
I'm in need of a bookshelf to store the read and unread books that have stored at home. Wanted a bit of inspiration on what kind of design exists for a small place, larger library. This book is good on libraries that require big space as the function is not in focus but more the design and the asthetics. Having said that is a good book on european design a bit step far from the simplicity that IKEA offers but a good demonstration that Europe offers good design solutions.
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: music-and-art
I appreciate design BUT if you have the clots of books stashed like I do on every shelf...with or without color coordination, then this book acts as reference only. I did explore the Chicago-based site for a portable bike-operated book library ( Bringing books to the community is a great idea. There is a small free library near where I live that is based on the honor system that I, for the longest time, thought was a large low-level birdhouse. A pic is to be added soon.
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Have to admit: this was a great present! This is a book about shelves and cases, but it makes you think about books, your own books, where you want to keep them, how you want to keep them... I have been sampling this book for months and getting inspiration every turn. But it is not just a catalog, obviously: a lot of thinking and very concise writing has gone into it. If you like books, get this one.
Nicole Normand
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference-books
The cover caught my eye so I bought this book on Amazon.
Although there are no explanation as how to make these beautiful shelves, there is a website for each designer for you to buy this design - some of them can be personalized.
The author put them strategically in order of appearance or second/third use for them.
According to the title page inside, there are 305 color illustrations. You will not find any b/w pictures here.
All of them have books so you know how they work. So many to choose from,
Clare Rhoden
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this tour thru bookcase and book-storage history. A good coffee table book (if you'll pardon the pun) with some awesome and some wacky pictures. Definitely worth a look for bibliophiles - plenty of ideas. In fact, if you need a gift for a fellow bibliophile who is also into interior decoration or in the middle of renovations, this is it!
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Overall it was interesting to see the different designs. The bookshelves themselves could have used more books, and some were not that practical.
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
Something about book shelfs. And books about book shelfs. Interesting but good read.
Jul 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, design
This book is pure, unadulterated design porn for book lovers and modern furniture freaks. Born from the "Bookshelf" blog, it's basically hundreds of pages of beautifully photographed bookshelves by designers from around the world. Each has a little snippet about it, as well as the designer's website for those with the pockets deep enough to actually afford some of this stuff. As with so much modern design, the emphasis falls more on the aesthetic side of the aesthetic/functional spectrum. Which ...more
Jan 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This features a few truly inspired, beautiful bookshelf designs for the avid hoarder of books and it also has a large number of bookshelf designs that are so modern they are not practical for anything other than decoration.

So, if you are in the market for aesthetically interesting wall space filler this book has some ideas for you. If you are an actual buyer of books for the content and not the displaying potential this is not going to inspire much more than laughter at the small capacity for b
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
A lively and lovely collection of some of the strangest and yet surprisingly elegant answers that various designers had when considering "what to do with all these books? " Some shelves are aimed at form, some at function. Some make a statement irrespective of which books are found on their shelves, while some are customized specifically to highlight the relationship between the books the shelf is intended to house.

A lovely reference work, in short, and the blog that inspired it should serve you
Jessica Haider
3.5 out of 5 star for this little book about bookshelves. The book had a high photograph to text ration so it was quick to read through. The book is by the guy behind the Bookshelf blog (http://theblogonthebookshelf.blogspot...) The book and the blog features images of many artistic and unique bookshelves. Everything from bookshelves that double as chairs or lamps to book shelves that are shaped like giant wheels and can be rolled across the floor. This is an interesting little book for biblioph ...more
Interesting book, although it seemed to be more of a buyer's catalog or guide to art (there were was one instance where Johnson wrote, "Designer Erich Keller and Set 26 invite you to buy your favourite word" (p.106), which didn't jibe too well with me. I would have preferred a more impartial look at these cases. A lot of them are also nonfunctional. Only about a tenth are actually usable for a house or apartment, but they were still cool to look at, nonetheless. My favorite is perhaps the Concea ...more
Kevin Magpoc
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Admittedly I didn't read every single entry, but the pictures usually speak for themselves and stand well enough on their own anyway. I was rather pleased that the book highlights all conceivable types of book-shelving, from the practical to the artistic, with even enough that fit in both categories, to even a few facades that only give the impression of shelving. Is it ironic that Alex Johnson's "Bookshelf" belongs most deservedly not on any shelf but out in the open on top of the coffee table?
Elizabeth Olson
Sep 17, 2012 rated it liked it
The bookcase featured here, in photos and text, serve as wall art, room dividers, public sculpture, furniture, transportation and much, much more. This collection of designs reimagining the bookcase and questioning our relationship to books as icons, books as decor, books as cultural symbols, books as repositories of wisdom or imagination and even books as books is thought-provoking and entertaining.
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a fun book to look's amazing what permutations the brain can concoct to design something radically new for a "bookshelf." The notations are interesting, too, for instance "when designing the displays for the bookshop in London, the owner took inspiration from the stalls of flea markets. The shelves can fold down to form light crates allowing for easy transport." Highly recommend this book for the pure joy of creativity.
Sep 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is so much fun to flip through! Who knew there were so many different ways to shelve books? My favorites are two by designer Sakura Adachi ( one is a bookshelf that opens to make a small table and two chairs; the other is a bookshelf with a built in "pet cave" with a little cushion for your pet. I only wish these were available to buy!
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
I did not read the description for any of those products, however, I must say that this collection of bookshelves left me wanting to buy all of them After all, most of what is featured here are unorthodox styles for a bookshelf. Nice to know that people people are taking time to make creative designs to house books.
Jan 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A fun book composed mostly of pictures, each one accompanied by a short explanation of the inspiration behind the bookshelf featured. Quick and simple, I enjoyed the photos, but the descriptions all came across rather vague and cliched, more suited to a catalogue than a collection of functional art.
Hipster book with gorgeous pics of different bookshelves.

Some of my favorites ::

Vintage pg. 42
Untamed Chaos pg. 92
Bookshape pg. 105
Paperback pg. 108
Cumulus pg. 120
Comic pg. 123
Barok pg. 127 (paired w/Vintage = dreamy)
Read-Unread pg. 201
Joe and Joe Junior pg. 228
Tree Bookshelf pg. 231
Branch Bookshelf pg. 234

Perfect :: Softwall pg. 240 :: yes, please!

Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
lots and lots of great ideas and websites of builders and designers of book shelves, and most are seeminly functional and not just for show or decoration. there is book[shelf]porn, then you start getting into the hardcore. this is getting to hardcore.
see this review for some great selections from this

Subtitled: Eye Candy

The shelves that serve two purposes, such as the lamp/page holder bookshelf (p150), the cat staircase bookshelf (p186) and the bike mount bookshelf (p185) are my favorite, but the "defying gravity" shelves are pretty sweet too.

Is it terrible that I want this to be a Pinterest board instead of a book???

Christopher Hall
Apr 21, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm not sure how to rate this book. Looking at the various designs was mildly interesting, but most of the designs are not attractive, and certainly seem like solutions in need of a problem. Most of the designers seem to not have heard of the phrase, "Form follows function." In any case it was a fun diversion from my normal reading.

I borrowed a copy from the Pima County Library.
Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookporn
I am sooooo lusting after fancy bookshelves. Oh but they are pretty. The only downside to this book is that it's something of a catalog--the product descriptions and companies are in little blurbs next to the shelves and because I am what I am, I couldn't not read them...until I started treating it like a catalog and just ogling the pictures.

The pretty, pretty pictures.
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I am a professional blogger and journalist, part of The Independent newspaper's online team in the UK. I run Shedworking ( which inspired the book 'Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution' published by Frances Lincoln, The Micro Life (, and curate Bookshelf (, which was published as a book in 2012 by Thames & Hudso ...more
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