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Photo by David Trawin

Sometimes a bookshelf holds books. Sometimes a bookshelf holds other things. But, occasionally, a bookshelf holds something intangible. Sometimes the idea behind a bookshelf is much more interesting than the books it holds. I know, blasphemy right?!

Books are full of symbolism, metaphor, and concepts that reach out beyond the words and physical pages of the book. Why can’t a bookshelf be more like the books on it? Why can’t a bookshelf be more than just a receptacle for the heavy burden of stories, ideas, conspiracy, and knowledge?

In fact, a bookshelf can be much much more than it seems. Below, you’ll find five bookshelves that contain ideas just like the hunks of paper, words, and glue that sit upon them.

The Poet's Bookhanger: A poet’s work is never finished. Capturing the intricacies of emotion, sight, and sound are ongoing. The ink is never dry. That’s why The Poet’s Bookhanger holds each tiny book with its pages lightly airing, desperately trying to dry and keep the ink from smearing.

Poetry is also always trying to condense the largest of life’s experiences into just a few words. This small shelf only allows for a few of your smallest notebooks or poetry collections. As a poet chooses their words carefully, so should you when choosing what books to showcase.

The Platzhalter (Image via Gizmodo): We all know about the mind expanding ability of books. Each taste of fiction, true story, or knowledge broadens your mind towards infinity. The Platzhalter shelf takes this idea and brings it into the tangible three dimensions. Like your mind, the bookshelf itself expands with the amount of books it holds. Folding out into a V like it is about to break feels just like your mind after reading something that resonates with your brain matter and heart strings.

Also, we’ve all been cradling a stack of newly purchased books in the crook of your arm, staring at the shelf completely flummoxed as to where we would be able to fit the new additions. An expanding bookshelf is all that we could ever need. Now, if only it would expand to infinity so satisfy your addiction.

The Piano Shelf: Books are different things to different people. Many stories are up for interpretation and each reader brings their own experiences and mindset to each book they delve into. But what if a bookcase could be just as interpretive? The Piano Shelf is just that. It is fluid and is different for everyone. Flip down the little arms to create your impression of what your bookshelf to be. You can organize it anyway you want and keep the secret to your book cataloging to yourself. People will wonder what Catcher in the Rye has to do with a biography of John Lennon and a South Park coffee table book.

In addition to all of this, you can always rearrange the shelf whenever the mood take you. It is like reading a book as you get older, it changes and can take on a whole new meaning.

The Unread Bookshelf: Life is always striving for some type of balance. Readers are constantly trying to balance the onslaught of their “To Read” pile with their “Already Read” pile. The ever growing stack for you to read will always grow, but it is up to you to conquer that pile and send those books over to the shelf of conquered stories. With the Unread bookshelf, you can actually see how much you’ve been neglecting your reading list. More like a set of scales than a shelf, this book receptacle serves as a constant reminder that there are always more stories waiting for you.

Also, if you don’t keep up with your reading list, then your brand new books might run the risk of hitting the floor. You wouldn’t want that yould you?!