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The Best Bookend

Last updated on March 15, 2024

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Bookends

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

Pandapark Handcrafted Wooden Bookends, Set Of 2

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Pandapark

Handcrafted Wooden Bookends, Set Of 2

This pair of rustic bookends looks great on any mantle, desktop or office shelf. It's constructed using both wood and reinforced steel, which means it's extremely durable. You can use it to display everything from family photo albums to a collection of comic books to your favorite novels.

Overall Take

Choice of FinishesThis bookend set comes in a choice of a dark black walnut or a light beech finish.

 Runner Up

HappyHapi Anti-Slip Metal Bookends, Set Of 6

HappyHapi

Anti-Slip Metal Bookends, Set Of 6

If you have a love of reading, you'll want to grab this set of six bookends. Each piece is large in size and made from a sturdy metal that can handle heavier books. Anti-slip pads are outfitted on the bottom of each piece as well, preventing them from sliding out of place.

Overall Take

Best ValueYou'll pay the least amount per piece when you opt for this budget-friendly set of bookends.

 We Also Like

MaxGear Anti-Static Metal Bookends, Set Of 4

MaxGear

Anti-Static Metal Bookends, Set Of 4

Neatly organize everything from books to CDs, DVDs and more with these heavy-duty metal bookends. Featuring rounded edges and high-quality, anti-static paint, these bookends will not damage your shelving or books. The slim design requires minimal space.

Overall Take

Heavy Duty SupportHeavy duty and versatile, MaxGear Metal Bookends, Set of 4 have many potential uses.

 Strong Contender

JIC Gem Non-Slip Blue Agate Bookends, Set Of 2

JIC Gem

Non-Slip Blue Agate Bookends, Set Of 2

These natural stone bookends are available in six colors to match your decor. The polished and sparkling stones are all unique, providing interest and function. Rubber bumpers protect shelves from scratches.

Overall Take

Functional and StrikingThe JIC Gem Dyed Blue Agate Bookends, Set of 2 add sparkle to your decor.

Buying Guide

Bookends can help you decorate your shelves or surfaces while organizing your books at the same time. With so many options available, choosing the best bookends could be confusing. Fortunately, knowing what you want and need will help you make the best selection.

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Consider how sturdy and robust your bookends should be. If you have several large or heavy books on your shelf, you will need heavy-duty bookends to keep them upright. Alternatively, if you want to organize a modest collection of paperback novels, standard bookends will likely be sufficient.

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Bookends are available in a variety of materials. Thicker steel or iron bookends are useful for holding up big books. They can also blend nicely in a room with a modern or minimalist theme.

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Other bookends are made from materials such as wood, ceramic, plastic, or natural stone. Some of these will be sturdier than others. However, if appearance is more of a concern than stability, look for a set that complements your decor. For instance, brightly colored natural stone bookends can add sparkle to your bedroom or office, while wooden bookends cut into animal shapes might be fun for a child’s room.

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Ultimately, selecting a set of bookends that will organize your books vertically without fail is probably the most crucial consideration. However, choosing bookends that you find appealing and attractive is also significant. Since you will likely be living with them for many years to come, discovering a set that checks both of these boxes will result in money well spent.

What to Look For

  • Consider the surface on which you plan to use bookends. If it is very smooth or slick, bookends with padding or bumpers meant to protect against scratching could cause the bookends (and the books they are supposed to hold up) to slip and fall.
  • Although they were created to keep books organized in a vertical position, bookends can be used to hold other items, as well. For instance, you might use bookends to store CDs or records, DVDs, photo albums, or file folders on a shelf or desk.
  • Collecting bookends can be a hobby that is both practical and interesting. If you maintain a large selection of books, a collection of attractive, decorative and unusual bookends could accessorize them nicely. As they have both functional and aesthetic worth, bookends can become more valuable over time. This is especially true for rare or unique designs.

More to Explore

It is likely impossible to determine who invented the first bookend. Perhaps an avid reader placed a large rock at the end of a shelf to keep his volumes in place. However, there are some records from the 19th century suggesting that people wanted to organize their bookshelves.

An invention called Ive’s Book Brace came on the market in 1850. The brace was shaped like a book with spurs on the bottom, designed to hold books upright on partially-filled shelves of libraries and bookstores.

In 1877, William Stebbins Barnard applied for a patent on book supports he invented. Barnard was an inventor as well as a professor of biology at Drake University. His supports greatly resembled modern bookends.

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