Nicely constructed bronze-colored iron bookends with artistically appealing design that complements room decor. Sturdy enough to hold almost any type of book. Work well for video games and compact discs as well.
Come with eight felt pads that must be applied precisely or the bottoms may slip or scratch.
Though inexpensive, these bookends are fairly stable, have protective, padded bottoms, and are capable of holding most types of books. Metal has a sturdy feel.
Style is basic and industrial-looking. May slip a bit if books aren't stacked tightly.
Sports a unique design that connects the two ends with an adjustable metal back piece that helps hold books in place. Comes with a 90-day money back guarantee.
A bit flimsy. Works best with paperback books. Has better structure when the unit is full.
Not only do these bookends have an attractive human design, but they are also reasonably sturdy thanks to the stainless steel craftsmanship. Padded bottoms prevent scratches.
Padded bottoms are stable on most surfaces, but may slip on some. A few quality control issues have been reported, such as bent edges.
Heavy-duty bookends crafted in steel with a coated finish. Tall, 10-inch design is built to accommodate large, heavy books. Attractive, contemporary looks.
A bit top-heavy, and prone to tipping over if books aren't properly aligned. Some owners didn't like the looks of the foam bottoms, but they do resist slipping.
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Furnishing and decorating any room in your home is a balancing act between functionality and aesthetics. The bookend is a curious item to shop for because it can be almost solely functional, solely aesthetic, or a little bit of both. It’s an item that can be a necessity for your shelves or a cute decorative piece that attracts attention.
Bookends sit on shelves and prop up books, which is especially useful when you have open-ended shelves. They can also serve to divide the shelf space so that other items can sit securely without being knocked over by a falling book. Still, bookends can also be decorative, stylish, or amusing trinkets that rest on shelves but may not necessarily be there to hold up books.
While they are simple, bookends come in a wide range of styles, sizes, and degrees of effectiveness. Our guide takes you through all the factors to consider, some recommendations, and what you might not think of when it comes to buying and using bookends in your home. They’re not just for books!
Primarily, bookends are sturdy items that keep upright books from tipping, sliding, or falling over on shelves. Unsupported books are unlikely to stay standing on end for long. Bookends at either end of a row of books will keep the upright books in place.
Many bookends are L-shaped, with a thin foot that slides under a few books at the end of the row and a vertical portion that presses up against the end book. By securing the end book, the bookend can support an entire shelf’s worth of books. The most functional bookends are fairly large and wide enough to fully support the end book.
Many functional bookends also have decorative appeal, but there are also bookends that serve as mostly aesthetic items with little functionality. You’ll find options that may be attractive but offer little in the way of support for more than a few books. Some of these bookends are also humorous: among the most popular are human figures that appear to be holding up the books. Another common type features an animal head at one end and the tail at the other.
There are many styles of bookends, so there are some that are sure to fit with your décor. Bookends may be simple, rustic, ornate, industrial, nautical, or modern. They may feature sports motifs, animals, or beloved characters from movies, TV shows, or books.
The size and weight of a bookend correspond to the number of books it can hold in place. However, the bookend’s shape and design also play a factor. Consider the number, size, and type of your books (hardcovers are larger and heavier than most paperbacks). Most L-shaped bookends are between 6 and 12 inches high. More decorative options vary greatly in size.
Bookends are made of a variety of materials, with heavier options generally being more durable and stable. Plastic and sheet metal bookends are less expensive, while wood, marble, stainless steel, and other metals are more expensive. Another popular option is agate. This type of rock, which can be multicolored and glittery, has long been used for decorations and jewelry.
You can find bookends in the shapes of letters, with A at one end of the shelf of books and Z at the other.
Height: Some L-shaped bookends are adjustable to accommodate taller books. This is helpful if you have books or shelves of different heights.
Length: Some metal bookends are connected to each other at the back with an expandable accordion-like mechanism that can be changed to accommodate more or fewer books.
Some bookends stay put via a slip-resistant base or come with adhesive, stickers, or other means to help them adhere to the shelf. Keeping the bookend from slipping will greatly improve its stability and strength so it can support more books.
Bookshelf: Casual Home Folding Stackable Bookcase
You need some attractive shelves for your books, and we especially like this option from Casual Home. This three-shelf folding bookcase comes in seven finishes at a price to fit any budget.
Ladder bookcase: Simpli Home Acadian Ladder Bookcase
This simple wooden bookcase stands 63 inches tall and has five shelves. The distressed gray finish fits beautifully with rustic décor.
Inexpensive: You can find simple, traditional L-shaped bookends for $15 or less per pair. These will be functional but not especially decorative.
Mid-range: Spend between $15 and $30 and you can find many bookends in a variety of materials that blend functionality and aesthetics for something decorative and effective.
Expensive: Spend over $30 and you can find elaborate, decorative bookends that are functional, decorative, and even unique.
Many decorative bookends are strong enough to support a long shelf of books, but consider the look. You might not want too much clutter to detract from your pretty bookends.
A. Bookends offer a great deal of support provided they’re designed to be stable. A large, top-heavy bookend won’t offer as much support as a smaller one with a wide base and lower center of gravity. It’s important to make sure the bookend can’t slip. Some come with a slip-resistant bottom for more friction.
A. If your primary concern is functionality, you’ll need a pair of bookends for every shelf of books (or media) in your home. However, if you have a lot of books on a shelf, you might want to get several of the less expensive L-shaped variety. A bookend doesn’t have to go at the end, and the L-shaped options can work as dividers to add some support in the middle of a long row of books. Decorative bookends likely come in pairs, although you can buy some individually, and one may be all you need.
A. Most bookends don’t have holes or other means by which to connect the bookend to the shelf, and it’s not necessary or advised. Felt pads and other methods to prevent slipping are effective. What’s more, most bookends can effectively support a lot of books, so permanently attaching the bookend isn’t required.