How do I Choose the Best Cherry Wood Bookcase?

Dana Hinders
Dana Hinders

Cherry wood, sometimes known as American Black Cherry, Whiskey Cherry, Choke Cherry, Rum Cherry, or Wild Cherry, has many advantages as a building material for bookcases. Cherry wood is medium weight, moderately hard, and very strong. It has an attractive grain, a natural luster, and a warm glow that fits in well with many interior design schemes. New cherry wood has a light golden tone, while aged wood changes to a rich reddish brown as it is exposed to light.

Cherry wood acquires a rich reddish brown tone as it ages.
Cherry wood acquires a rich reddish brown tone as it ages.

The first step in choosing a cherry wood bookcase is to decide how many books you want to store. Bookcases vary greatly in size, ranging from small two or three shelf cases to large wall-sized pieces designed to hold an entire home library. If you buy books on a regular basis, don't forget to plan for the extra room necessary to allow you to add to your collection.

The size of the bookcase is important to consider, as some home libraries have to hold hundred of books.
The size of the bookcase is important to consider, as some home libraries have to hold hundred of books.

If you have a small space, a bookcase can be visually overpowering. To help minimize this effect, choose a cherry wood bookcase with a ladder design or an open back. This will keep the bookcase from looking "boxy" and adding to the already crowded feel of a tiny room. As an added bonus, your cherry wood bookcase will be lighter and thus easier to move if you decide to upgrade to larger living quarters at a later date.

When choosing a cherry wood bookcase, don't forget that there are many special features that can turn a functional piece of furniture into a pretty home décor accent. Glass doors with etched designs protect books from dust. Drawers provide space to store blankets, board games, or other small items. Some bookcases even feature sliding panels that display family photos while acting as bookends.

You can buy cherry wood bookcases at most larger furniture stores. Shopping online is often a good option for many home décor items, but you may want to think twice before buying a cherry wood bookcase online. It is very difficult to judge the quality of a bookcase from an online description and high shipping charges can easily eat into any potential savings from an online purchase.

If you are having trouble finding a cherry wood bookcase that fits your needs, consider building your own or hiring a local carpenter to create your furniture. Many free patterns for building a cherry wood bookcase are available online, most of which can be easily modified if necessary. When you're finished with the project, you'll have a custom bookcase that should last for many years.

Dana Hinders
Dana Hinders

Dana holds a B.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of Iowa. She has loved being part of the wiseGEEK team ever since discovering the joys of freelance writing after her son was born. Dana also hones her writing skills by contributing articles to various blogs, as well as creating sales copy and content for e-courses.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


Cherry wood bookcases are also easy to maintain. With frequent dusting and an occasional application of furniture oil, a cherry bookcase will keep its beauty for decades to come.


Since cherry wood bookcases can be expensive, not everyone can afford this type of purchase. An option for a person on a tight budget is to purchase a fabricated cherry wood bookcase. This type of finish looks beautiful and natural and is available at a fraction of the price of real cherry wood.


I think that antique shops are great places to look for wood furniture like a cherry wood bookcase. Quite often, you can find styles that are very unique because they are old and are not made anymore.

If you decide to buy an antique cherry bookcase, you will need to be careful not to purchase one that is heavily damaged. While some nicks and scratches can be buffed out, large dents and chips are not usually repairable. These issues can detract from the character of an antique piece of furniture, making it look old instead of antique.

Another tip you should follow if you buy an antique cherry wood bookcase is to be careful if you decide to apply any new varnishes or finishes to the wood. Sometimes these products can be damaging to aged wood, so it may be best just to use a furniture oil and enjoy the natural patina in the wood that has occurred over time.

Post your comments
Forgot password?