From sparse classic ladder styles to modern blocks and simple planks of wood, there are leaning bookshelf styles out there to suit everyone's design sensibility. These popular shelves can have no back, an X-back, or a full back panel. They can be tall and narrow, squat and solid, or minimal and skinny. Whether you're looking for stained wood or bright pops of colour, you can find the perfect leaning bookshelf for you.
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Sloane Leaning Bookcase
The Sloane Leaning Bookcase, available at Crate and Barrel, is an open-backed ladder-style bookshelf, constructed from wood. It has five shelves: they increase in depth from top to bottom, with the bottom being the deepest. The shelves are fixed and gallery-style, which means that they have ledges at their backs and sides. The backs of the shelves are flush with the wall the bookcase is leaning against. The Sloane bookcase comes in white and mahogany finishes. This bookcase has a very sparse, minimal style. It's also available in eco-friendly light bamboo. Crate and Barrel offers a bookshelf-cum-desk in the same leaning style: the desk sits below two shallow gallery shelves, leaving an open space beneath it for a chair.
Sloane-Style Leaning Bookcases
There are several bookcases on the market that look similar to the Sloane. Amazon.com carries many of them. They feature the same ladder-style construction and five gallery shelves that become progressively deeper top to bottom, but these bookshelves come in a wider array of finishes, adding cappuccino, black and ash to Crate and Barrel's white, mahogany and bamboo.
X-Back Leaning Bookcase
This bookcase is also a ladder-style shelf, but rather than being completely open-backed, it has two beams that cross over one another in the middle of the piece to form a tall, skinny X. It has four shelves as compared to the Sloane's five, and the top shelf is not set as high as the Sloane's. The shelves have ledges on their fronts and sides, rather than at the back and sides like the ones of the Sloane's do. It's made of solid ash with a dark wood finish, and it can be found at Overstock.com.
Long and Narrow DIY Leaning Bookshelf
Designer Mark Reigelman made a prototype of this long skinny wooden leaning bookshelf with oval cutouts: it's not for sale. It's easy, however, to make it yourself. You'll need a 2-foot-by-6-foot wooden plank. Choose good-quality, good-looking wood such as teak or ash. Decide how you want to space your "shelves," which will be your cutouts. Mark them on your plank with pencil, then carefully cut them out with a router. Sand the rough edges. All you need to do to install this shelf is prop it up against the wall and stack books in the cutouts.
Modern Block Leaning Bookshelf
This modern leaning bookshelf is made by Piola. Rather than solid shelves, it has rows of staggered blocks. You can stack books upright or horizontally between them. It comes in several colours: Piola Pop, which has a white back with rainbow blocks; Piola Flesh, which has a white back with flesh-pink-coloured blocks; or Piola Kitchen, a wood back with wood blocks. You can also customise colours if you wish--and you can even rearrange the coloured blocks on the Piola Pop; they're all unscrewable.
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