What is a Revolving Bookcase?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2019
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Once considered the ideal solution for housing a small library in a parlor, the revolving bookcase is a traditional piece of furniture that is easily adapted to a number of decorating tastes and uses. Essentially a four-sided shelf unit that is mounted on a revolving base, the revolving bookcase is sometimes referred to as a carousel bookcase. Bookcases of this type are available in a number of styles and materials, making them a useful and functional storage solution in several rooms of the home.

Traditional revolving bookcases were made of high quality wood, such as oak or mahogany. Often, the bookcase would be employed in a study as a means of keeping favorite books near a comfortable reading chair. The revolving bookcase was an ideal solution for storing a larger number of books in a smaller amount of space, while keeping the books easily accessible. Generally, a traditional revolving bookcase would include at least two shelves on each side, and would be the same height as a side table.


Over time, carousel bookcases have adapted to changing tastes and needs around the home. Today, there are examples of the revolving bookcase that work well in several rooms of the home. Some models are still the same height as a standard end table, but now feature a stationary tabletop. This means a revolving bookcase can actually be used for both storage and as an end table. As a storage solution for a small room or in an apartment, this type of revolving bookcase provides both function and a sense of traditional touch to the room.

Several modern day versions of the revolving bookcase can be stacked easily and safely. This can be an ideal way to utilize a corner of a room to house a larger number of books, DVDs, or other items. Because each of the carousel bookcases would revolve on their own, it is possible to turn only the one section of two shelves at a time, rather than having to turn the entire structure.

Wood is still the preferred medium for most models of the revolving bookcase, but there are some models on the market that are constructed with the use of metal and hard plastic. Along with a natural looking stain, the revolving bookcase is available in a number of colors, as well as designs ranging from the traditional to the eclectic.


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