What Are the Standard Bookshelf Dimensions?

Do you have lots of books? Or are you in the process of collecting more? If so, a bookshelf or bookcase is the perfect place to store your paperbacks, creating extra space and ensuring good organization.

Whether you’re looking to make a bookshelf on your own or you want to buy one for your room, understanding the standard dimensions of a bookshelf will help you to plan your layout and make the best of your space.

Bookshelf dimensions will vary according to a number of factors, including how many shelves the bookcase has and the type of bookshelf you choose.

Some bookshelves will have two shelves, while others may have more than five. Continue reading to know more about the standard sizes of the various types of bookshelves, including tree bookshelf dimensions, ikea bookshelf dimensions, coffin bookshelf dimensions, and the dimensions of a standard corner bookcase.

Standard Bookshelf Dimensions

Standard Bookshelf Dimensions
Standard Bookshelf Dimension Diagram

Standard shelf spacing on a typical bookshelf will range from 9 to 12 inches. Depending on the types of books stacked, the standard bookshelf depth should be between 10 and 12 inches while the width is from 31 to 32 inches. You can also find other bookshelf widths of between 24 and 48 inches.

Average Shelf Spacing

Standard shelf spacing varies based on the kinds of books placed on the shelf since most bookcases feature adjustable shelves. Typically book sizes range from 6.87 inches to 11 inches, so the average shelf spacing should be between 9 to 12 inches. Increase the spacing to 15 inches using adjustable shelves if you need to stack oversized books.

Standard Bookshelf Depth

The standard bookshelf depth is between 10 to 12 inches to accommodate the majority of books which have widths of around 4.25 inches to 8 inches. You can also find bookshelves on the market with a depth ranging from 7 to 15 inches.

Standard Bookshelf Width

A typical bookshelf width is between 30 and 32 inches. You can also find other bookshelf widths ranging from 24 inches to 48 inches.

Bookshelf Dimensions by Numbers of Shelves

Bookshelf Dimensions by Numbers of Shelves
Bookshelf Dimensions by Numbers of Shelves – Size Chart

Two-Shelf Bookcase

A two-shelf bookcase is a good choice if you have a collection of small books or you’re just starting to appreciate reading and collecting books. This is also the type of bookshelf you’d want if you have limited space at home.

The standard height for a small bookshelf is 32 inches, although you may even find one that’s 36 inches tall. Meanwhile, the standard width is 31 inches. The depth may vary from 12 to 13 inches. For compact rooms, you can create extra space by using a corner bookshelf, which will occupy an unused corner of the room.

Three-Shelf Bookcase

Like the two-shelf bookcase, the three-shelf bookcase has variations in terms of height. You may find one that’s 41 inches tall and even come across one that’s 48 inches in height. The width may also vary, from as narrow as 30 inches to as wide as 36 inches.

The depth is similar to the two-shelf bookcase as well, between 12 and 13 inches. If you’re buying one, look for a three-shelf bookcase that would let you adjust the shelves to various heights so you can keep or store large books and hardcovers.

Four-Shelf Bookcase

A four-shelf bookcase can make good use of underutilized vertical space. Four shelf bookcases are reasonably tall, with a standard height of 54 inches, or about four and a half feet, using standard shelf spacing.

The standard width of a four-shelf bookcase is 24 inches, although you may come across wider models, up to 45 inches in width. The depth may also vary from 12 to 14.5 inches. You might want a deeper four-shelf bookcase if you are to store or keep square-shaped books.

Five-Shelf Bookcase

A five-shelf bookcase can range from 72 to 77 inches tall. In some European furniture stores, five-shelf bookcases tend to be taller. Ikea bookshelf dimensions are typically quite generous and are therefore great for displaying oversized books. The width of five-shelf bookcases can vary enormously, from 28 to 60 inches.

The standard depth of a five-shelf bookcase is 12 to 13 inches, but you can also find specialty five-shelf bookcases that are just five inches deep, making them ideal for storing small paperback books. You can also come across five-shelf bookcases with an extra shelf, meaning you can upgrade them into six-shelf bookcases by altering the shelf spacing.

The five-shelf bookcase is preferred by many people because it is space-saving while at the same time accommodating a significant number of books. The width, which can be as narrow as 28 inches, means that this type of bookshelf can be placed in the corner of a room without taking up a lot of space.

Seven-Shelf Bookcase

The seven-shelf bookcase is also known as the ‘tower’ bookshelf because it is typically tall and narrow. Seven-shelf bookcases have a standard height of 84 inches, with a smaller width than bookcases with two to five shelves.

The seven-shelf bookcase brings certain pros and cons to the table. It can provide additional storage space for your room. It can also function as a decorative item where you can place items such as photo albums and clocks.

You will need a substantial vertical space to accommodate a tower bookshelf because of its height of 7 feet. The large dimensions of a seven-shelf bookcase can mean that moving it around in your home may present a problem.

Double-Wide Bookcases

The double-wide bookcase is a type of bookshelf that consists of two units joined together and a permanent border right in the middle. A double-wide bookshelf may come in three to ten-shelf styles, therefore the dimensions of this bookcase will vary depending on the number of shelves it has.

Should You Buy or Make a Bookshelf?

Should You Buy or Make a Bookshelf?

Knowing the standard sizes of the different types of bookshelves means you could try to make your own. This is a great idea if you like customized furniture because you could create a type of bookcase that you might not be able to find for sale, such as a corner bookcase, a tree bookcase, or a coffin bookcase.

Coffin bookcase dimensions tend to be larger than standard bookcase dimensions since they are intended to look like real-life-sized coffins. Coffin bookcase dimensions will be around 6 feet in height and 2 to 3 feet in width. Tree bookcase dimensions are very variable, which is great because this means you can build one to suit any space in your home.

A bookshelf is easy to make if you have some DIY experience but be warned that you will likely end up spending more on materials to make your own bookcase than if you were to just buy one. Necessary materials may include cabinet-grade plywood, wood glue, construction adhesive, hinges, and high-grade latex paint or stain. You should also take into consideration the time you’d be spending on creating a bookshelf.

What to Look for In a Bookcase

If a bookcase or bookshelf is going to hold a large number of books, then it needs to be able to hold their weight. Therefore, you should choose a bookshelf made of strong and durable materials. The best choice for a sturdy bookcase would be solid wood, but it can make the bookshelf itself expensive. Other affordable options for strong bookcases are manufactured wood and metal.

You must also check the dimensions to ensure that the bookshelf you are interested in will fit comfortably in your room. The weight capacity is equally important as you don’t want the bookshelf to collapse because of the combined load or weight of the books. Always check the weight capacity of the bookshelf before buying it. For reference, remember that a one-ruler row of books can weigh up to 20 pounds.

Now that you have learned about the standard sizes of a bookshelf, you can now start shopping for one that you can put in your room or home.