Where To Put Bookcases In Your Home

There's nothing like grabbing a good book off a bookshelf and settling in for a good read, but where should you put your bookcase in your home? Well, lucky for you, we've scoured the internet for suggestions, and have some great tips for you. 

Bookcases can serve as focal points or subtly stand in the background of a room. No matter which style you go for, these are the best locations for bookcases: 

  • Around or under a window
  • Around a door
  • Behind the couch
  • In an office
  • In a bedroom
  • Against a wall
  • In a corner

We've given you some great, viable options to consider in your home. Keep reading as we go into detail and show you some image examples of each one so you can really get an idea of how it might look in your space. We'll also answer some other questions you might have about your bookcase!

Interior of a contemporary designed living room with walls painted in white, a tall bookshelf, and a white sofa in the center, Where To Put Bookcases In Your Home

Where To Put Bookcases In Your Home

Let's look closer at your options when it comes to placing bookcases in your home.

Shelving unit with books and decor in interior of room, Where To Put Bookcases In Your Home

Around Or Under A Window

Natural light is one of the best lights for reading. There is even research pushing for more natural light in university libraries! Reading in dim light or inappropriate artificial light can cause visual strain and fatigue, so having a reading area close to a window can be very beneficial. You might as well have your books within reach.

Plus, it's also known that sunlight is a natural mood booster, so why not get a double dose of dopamine from the sun and your favorite book? Check out some window bookcase ideas below!


Bookshelves are a great way to frame a window. You can even add a cozy reading bench so you have an easy place to settle down with your book. 

As you can see in this photo, bookcases aren't just for books. All the white is highlighted by the natural light of the window. 


Bookcases don't have to be tall and vertical. If framing a window makes the wall seem too busy for you, you can place a horizontal bookcase under the window instead. If you still like the idea of a seating area, you could always remove the middle shelves. 

Around A Door

If you live in a smaller home or apartment and you're worried a bookcase might take up too much space, consider placing your bookcases around your door-- either to your living room or bedroom-- wherever you're more likely to go to read. They are a great space saver and placing them by the door frees up larger wall space for bigger furniture items. 

This room has added lights above the bookcases in a neat industrial style design.

While this is an example of built-in bookcases, notice how little space they take up. Books don't take up a lot of depth, so if space-saving is important to you, consider searching for tall, thin bookcases. Or, you could even build your own.

Behind The Couch

We often place our couches around a focal point in the room, like a fireplace or a TV, but that sometimes leaves us with awkward space behind the couch. You can fill that space with a bookcase either against the wall or with one that doubles as a console table along the back of the sofa. 

Modern interior of apartment, living room with sofa

The bookcases behind this sofa double as a display area for artwork. Bookcases add more surface area to your room for decorations and storage. 

Bookcases that double as console tables are a great way to frame your couch. You could add reading lamps to the top of them to really create the perfect reading area.

For more ideas on how to decorate your console table bookcases, check out How To Decorate A Console Table In The Living Room [5 Cool Ideas!]

In An Office

If your reading material is more nonfiction than fiction or related to your career, you might want to keep them in your office. An office is a great place for a bookcase. It creates an air of professionalism and education.

Table with laptop in home office interior with bookcase

Pair your bookcases with a matching desk for a classic monochromatic look.

Bookcases don't have to be boring or simple. There are lots of styles available for you to incorporate into your room. Leaning bookcases are both stylish and elegant!

Click here to see this ladder bookcase on Amazon.

In A Bedroom

If you like to settle down in the evening with a good book in bed, you might want to put bookcases in your bedroom. A study in 2009 by the University of Sussex found that reading before bed can reduce your stress by up to 68%. It lowers blood pressure and heart rate. So it makes sense to keep your books close to your bed!

This cute, country-style bedroom also has an inviting seating area in front of its bookcases.

If you're in the market for a bookcase and have decided that the bedroom is the place you want your bookcase to go, consider purchasing a bookcase headboard. It'll save you space, look stylish, and you'll have your books within reach from your bed.

Click here to see this bookcase headboard on Amazon.

Against A Wall

If you decide on a traditional bookcase to go against a wall, make sure there's enough space around it that it doesn't make the room feel small and compact. If it is tall, keep it away from other tall furniture items you might have so the room remains visually spaced. 

bookcase in empty room

In A Corner

If you don't have a particular room in mind for your bookcase to go or you're wondering how you can fit one in, why not choose a corner bookcase? Corner bookcases are awesome space savers and a great way to fill those awkward corners we often have in our home. They can really fill in a blank space and add to your design!

Click here to see this corner bookcase on Amazon.

Can You Put A Bookcase In Front Of A Window?

The first thing to remember is that books can get damaged by the sun and moisture. Keeping them in front of a window is not usually a good idea. However, if you have a quality bookshelf that you think will protect your books adequately, there are not many reasons you couldn't put it where you want.

Unless your goal is to completely block out the natural light, you might want to go with a smaller bookshelf to maximize the amount of light still able to enter the room. 

How Big Of A Bookcase Do You Need?

A huge bookshelf with loads of different books and a reading area at the center

If you're browsing for bookcases and you're wondering how big of a bookcase you should buy, this really depends on how many books you have and how thick those books are. Novels can average between 1 to 2 inches thick. So, first, you will need to count how many books you have and estimate how thick they are. You can then multiply the number of books by the average thickness in order to figure out how much shelf space you will need. 

Can You Stack Bookcases?

If you've decided you'd like one tall bookcase instead of two smaller ones, you might be wondering whether you can stack bookcases. This depends on the bookcase. There are stackable bookcases on the market. This is the better option if you don't already own the bookcases you'd like to stack.

Click here to see this folding stackable bookcase on Amazon.

If you already have bookcases and are wondering if you can stack those, you should be very careful stacking bookcases that aren't originally designed to be stacked. You will need to keep in mind how much weight each bookcase is made to hold and whether it will stack securely. Toppling furniture can be very dangerous, so proceed with caution!

Final Thoughts

Interior of a contemporary designed living room with walls painted in white, a tall bookshelf, and a white sofa in the center


We've given you lots of places you can put bookcases in your home. The main thing to think about is where you are most likely to read. Hopefully, we've helped you really consider this and you now have a good idea of where you want to put your bookcases! Happy reading!

If we've helped you decide where to place your bookcase, but now you're wondering where to put your TV, check out our other blog post: Where To Place The TV In A Living Room?

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