8 best bookends for adding character to your home library

From the purely functional to the ornamental, order your book collections with these designs

Daisy Lester
Thursday 29 April 2021 17:44
<p>We considered style and aesthetic, weight and their ability to hold up your book collection </p>

We considered style and aesthetic, weight and their ability to hold up your book collection

Whether your book collection’s overflowing onto every shelf or you’ve just got a couple of favourites lined up, no row of tomes is complete without some bookends.

Book collections can reveal a lot about a person, adding authentic character to a room and personalising your living space – but organisation is key.

Bridging the divide between practical and ornamental, bookends don’t just support and order your books but can add nice detailing to your display.

From Keith Haring inspired designs to ornamental Renaissance-style bookends, our choices below aren’t just accessories for your books but have the potential to be statement interior pieces in themselves.

We considered style and aesthetic for our edit, as well as assessing the weight of them and how up to scratch they were for holding up our (excessive) book collection.

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The heavier though, the pricer – but we’ve included options for every budget. From the kooky to the functional, liven up your home library with these top picks.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Rockett St George black & white male bust bookends

Ornamental while still being practical, these Rockett St George bust bookends introduce a touch of Renaissance-style into your living space. The pair are carved in the fashion of Michelangelo’s David with the contrasting black and white creating a striking look. Whether on a shelf, side table or bookcase, the bookends work well in holding up a hefty amount of books and are a unique take on an entirely functional product. For a stylish and weighty pair of bookends that rival designer high-end pieces, the price is impressive, too.

Tom Dixon swirl stepped bookends

The most decadent in terms of price in our edit, this pair of swirl stepped bookends that double up as candle holders will add some artistic charm to your home library. The contrasting prints on each end are a nice touch while the marble swirl style is very in vogue for interiors this year.

Working just as well as individual ornamental bookends as they do together, the pair are substantial in weight and there’s no risk of your books toppling over. The price owes to the marble design that’s made by recycling the powdered residue from the marble industry. They’re popular though so be sure to sign up to receive emails to find out when they’ll be back in stock.

Flexx Lex Keith Haring bookends

This fun pair of bookends riff off American artist Keith Haring’s most famous symbol – the barking dog. Authorised by the Keith Haring foundation, this take on the artists coveted tag looks great even when they aren’t holding up any books. While they aren’t the weightiest, the bookends do an adequate job of holding up at least five tomes and for under £15, they’re a quirky and unique addition to your book collection. More stock is expected in the next two weeks.

The Greek Designers Sophia cycladic bookend greek statue

These artsy sculptures are handcrafted from 100 per cent ceramine and made to order so you’ve got a completely unique pair of bookends. The Greek Designers are an independent brand and you’re paying for quality and weight meaning they’re great for an overflowing home library. As well as being an entirely functional addition to your bookcase, they’re a nice decorative piece that will really add character to your display.

Romwe iron bookend

If you’re not looking for anything too fancy, these iron effect bookends are a great budget option that do the job. The simple shape and industrial style are nicely minimalist and perfect for anything from office organisation to showing off all your favourite tomes. Simple, yet impressively sturdy, you can’t go wrong for under £10.

Brambly Cottage bicycle bookends

Whether you’re a cycling enthusiast or not, this pair of Brambly Cottage bicycle bookends are a quirky addition to your bookcase. Handmade in cast iron, they’re sturdy and robust enough to provide more than enough support row for your books. The front and rear halves of the bicycle are finished in a mocha powder coat that awards them a retro and industrial feel. We think they’d make the perfect gift for someone, too.

Itoda bamboo bookends

These bamboo effect bookends are another great budget option that add some simple detail to your book collection. Whether used for desk organisation or office order, the oval shape and wood finish create a subtle look. They aren’t the weightiest pair, but are functional enough for just £12.

Hay W&S boulder bookend

If you’ve seen this designer piece all over your Instagram feed, then we think now’s the time to invest. The stylish bookend comes from Copenhagen-based design duo Wang & Soderstrom, who specialise in 3D printed sculptural objects and unique moulded stoneware. The ceramic boulder is weighty and supportive for your books – being both functional and adding some Scandi-flair and nice texturing to your shelves.

The verdict: Bookends

Toeing the line between functionality and ornamental, the Rockett St George bookends are a stylish and interesting addition to your home library. If you’re on more of a budget, the Romwe iron pair are a nice minimalist piece and if you’re willing to spend a little more, the Hay boulder will instantly elevate any display.

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