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Bookcases Buying Guide


Buying a Barrister Bookcase


Homelegance Hanna 4 Piece White Bookcase

For those looking for a bookcase with a bit more panache, a barrister bookcase provides you with that little something extra. The barrister bookcase has a cabinet-like style with glass doors that enclose your book collection. The barrister bookcase gets its name from English lawyers (barristers) from the 1800s. Lawyers used these books because the closed doors would keep their books in place if the cabinets were moved. Barrister Bookcases are a great way to keep your books protected from sunlight, dust and moisture in the air.


If you’re hoping to keep your books in the best condition possible, then a barrister bookcase is the best storage option available. Your books will be kept safely behind the glass doors that create which create a barrier between your collection and the outside world.


Because of their shape and look, it’s possible for you to stack barrister bookcases on top of each other (secured to the wall) to create a cabinet of sorts. This will give your bookcase a unique and interesting look that further separates it from your standard bookcase.

Barrister Bookcase Size and Setup


When setting up your barrister bookcase, there are a few different directions you can take. As mentioned before, you can stack together multiple smaller barrister bookcases to create a super-barrister bookcase. Or, if you’re just looking for a smaller bookcase, a single barrister unit will get the job done. The size of your bookcase will depend on the size of your book collection. You’ll be able to find multiple-stack barrister cabinets that come as one unit, so don’t worry about having to assemble one.


You’ll be able to find barrister bookcases with adjustable shelving, which is a great help when you’re arranging your books. Adjust the shelves so that there is more height between shelves for hardcovers, smaller spaces for paperbacks or miniature collectibles or small photographs.

American Drew Camden Black Bookcase Bar
Wayborn 1 Shelf Barrister Bookcase with Glass Door in Brown

Antique or Modern Barrister Bookcases?


Depending on the room’s existing décor, you’ll have to decide whether you want a modern or antique barrister bookcase. Not only will the style of your room play a part in how you decide, but your budget will too. Typically, antique barrister bookcases are fairly expensive compared to modern versions, and are readily available in antique furniture stores. Antique barrister bookcases are often sought after because they are constructed from solid woods, ensuring for a quality bookcase. If you’re not ready to spend the money for a true antique but you want that aged look, then a modern barrister bookcase with a distressed finish is a suitable replacement. For higher quality modern bookcases, choose a piece that is constructed either entirely of solid wood or one that is made up mostly of solid wood. There isn’t a clear cut choice, it’s entirely up to you which type of barrister bookcase suits your needs.


Barrister bookcases are a great option for those looking for something a bit different than the standard bookcases you usually see. This classic piece of furniture is a great way to add personality to a room.


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