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Bookshelf Dimensions (Standard Width & Depth Size)

Here’s our guide to bookshelf dimensions including standard sizes for up to five-shelf bookcases, corner, media storage, library and bookshelf measurements for popular products.
Living room with arm chair coffee table book shelf gray paintBookshelf or bookcases, as they are sometimes called, are vertical or horizontal furniture with shelves used to store books. They have adjustable or fixed shelves with a utilitarian purpose that can be big enough to hold everything from books to records to figurines. Bookshelves are also utilized for businesses like retail stores and bookstores. 

There are many types of bookshelves, and they can be affixed to the floors, walls, or freestanding. Aside from that, it can also be made from various materials with varying heights and widths, and some have added features like glass doors or multiple bookcases that create a more extensive bookshelf system.

Standard Bookshelf Dimensions 

Many standard bookcases are symmetrical, with shelf spacing evenly apart from one to the other. Regardless of their heights, whether they are short or tall, most will have shelves with the exact dimensions as the other.

There is no precise measurement of a standard bookcase since they will vary in the height and space for each frame, but sizes are pretty common, ranging from small to custom-made bookshelves. 

The most standard bookshelf size range is 31″ to 32″ width, 10″ to 12″ in depth and 9″ to 12″ of space between shelves.

It is essential to know the bookcase dimensions for any interior decorating to ensure that the shelves will be harmonious and work well within the space. 

Bookshelf Width 

A bookshelf will have varying widths according to the types of shelves and the manufacturer of each style. Widths will vary if you are looking for specific shelves, so know what you will store if it is regular-sized books, bigger binder size, or coffee table books. 

On average, the standard bookcase will have a width of 31 to 32 inches or 79 to 81 centimeters. At the same time, there are smaller bookcases at 24 inches or 61 centimeters, while bigger ones can have a width up to 48 inches or 122 centimeters. 

What Is A Good Width For A Bookshelf? 

Bookshelf width sizesThe best bookcase width is one that ticks all the boxes for any homeowner’s requirement, and that will depend on whether they are looking for a smaller or bigger-sized bookshelf. A bookshelf width will help anyone determine how many books, depending on the book size; they can fit side by side on the shelves. 

A two-shelf bookshelf will have a standard width of 31 inches or 79 centimeters, while a three-shelf bookcase can have widths ranging from 30 to 36 inches or 76 to 91 centimeters.

On the other hand, a four-shelf bookshelf will have a width of 45 inches or 114 centimeters, and a five-shelf bookcase will have a width of 31 to 37 inches or about 79 to 94 centimeters. 

Bookshelf Depth 

Aside from the width and the height of a bookcase, another essential dimension to consider is the bookshelf depth since it will determine what you can essentially store on the shelves.

Smaller bookcases with smaller depths will only hold pocketbooks or CDs, while bookshelves with an immense depth can hold more oversized materials like records and coffee table books. 

The average bookshelf depth is 10 inches to 12 inches. Bookcase depth will vary from the smaller depths of 6.5 inches or 17 centimeters to the deeper shelves at 14 inches or 35 centimeters. Anything deeper than the average depth will require custom-made frames. 

How Deep Should A Bookcase Be? 

How deep should a bookcase beLike the widths of a bookcase, there will be no perfect depth that would work for every need, so knowing what a homeowner is looking to store on the bookshelf will streamline the choosing of the ideal bookcase size and type. 

Are they looking to keep trimmer pocketbooks or more enormous art books and specialty coffee table books? Sometimes, board games are also stored on the bookcase, as well as records that will require more shelf space from shelf height to depth. More or less, the ideal bookcase depth will range from 11 to 12 inches or 28 to 30 centimeters. 

How Much Space Between Bookshelves? 

Bookcase shelves spacingAnother crucial dimension to consider in choosing the perfect bookcase is the space between each shelf. This measurement is also vital for people looking to DIY the ideal bookcase for their needs. So, what is the average spacing for each frame on a bookcase? 

A good space between each shelf is 8 to 12 inches or 20 to 30 centimeters. If they are looking to store more oversized books on the shelf, upping the space size to 15 inches or 38 centimeters can help carry more oversized books and binders. 

Corner Bookshelf Sizes 

Corner bookshelf

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A bookcase that will help utilize and maximize any space is a corner bookcase. Corner bookshelves are available in many height variations since they will be taller than they are wider to save floor and wall space, and some corner shelves can even be as high as the ceiling. 

A standard corner shelf has 13 inches or 33 centimeters of space for each shelf, which is pretty normal to fit small to average-sized books. It will have a height of 67 3/4 inches or 172 centimeters. 

Bookshelf Size For Media Storage 

Media storage shelf

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There are bookcases made explicitly to fit books, and some shelves are made so that they can fit both books and be media storage as well. A good size for bookshelves solely for media storage is narrow, 15 3/4 inches or 40 centimeters wide bookcases. 

With this size, a homeowner can store their collections of DVDs, Blu-rays, or even cassette or VHS tapes. Action figures or stuffed toys can also be kept in this media storage, especially for higher shelves that can go up to 93 1/4 inches or 237 centimeters tall. 

Library Bookshelf Dimensions 

Library bookshelf dimensions

Most library bookshelves will have four shelves, and the heights for this bookcase will stand at 54 inches or 137 centimeters. There are narrow versions of a four-shelf bookshelf, and their width will average 24 inches or 61 centimeters.

At the same time, wider versions, which are the variant found in most libraries, can have widths up to 45 inches or 114 centimeters. Depths will vary, but most of them will range from 12 to 14 5/8 inches or 30 to 37 centimeters. 

IKEA Bookshelf Dimensions 

A much-loved bookcase from IKEA is the Billy bookcase series, which offers buyers flexibility and functionality. This bookcase can accommodate all spaces and uses, making it a perfect choice for people still unsure what to get. 

The IKEA Billy bookshelf is available on the shorter side at 41.75 inches or 106 centimeters, or they can choose the taller one that goes up to 93.25 inches or 237 centimeters. This bookcase’s widths vary from narrower shelves with 15.75 inches or 40 centimeters to more expansive bookcases at 31.5 inches or 80 centimeters. 

Hemnes Bookshelf Dimensions 

Another notable IKEA bookcase is the IKEA Hemnes Bookcase. This bookshelf has six rectangular shelves with equal space measurement and legs that raise the bookcase from the floor to let cables pass through. There are two variations of the Hemnes bookcase, one wider and the other narrower. 

The more expansive Hemnes bookshelf has a height of 83.5 inches or 212 centimeters, a width of 35 inches or 90 centimeters, and a shelf depth of 14 inches or 37 centimeters. On the other hand, a narrow Hemnes bookcase has the same height and depth, with the width varying at 19 inches or 49 centimeters. 

Kallax Bookshelf Dimensions 

Another versatile IKEA shelf is the Kallax, which can be fixed vertically or horizontally to fit any space. It has a height of 30 inches or 77 centimeters, a width of 58 inches or 147 centimeters, and a shelf depth of 15 inches or 39 centimeters. 

Visit our best wood for shelves guide fore more related content.

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