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What Is a Bookcase Desk?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

A bookcase desk is any variety of desk intended for writing or computer use that is attached to a bookcase, or is an independent structure that includes a desk surface as well as bookcases for storage of books and other items. The size, shape, and features associated with a bookcase desk can vary significantly, and while some bookcases can be purchased for use in the home, others are already built into a room as a permanent structure. The desk itself is usually fairly compact and used for writing or computer use, while the bookcase can be small or quite large, depending on the model.

One type of bookcase desk looks like any other office desk, but has bookcases built into the sides, front, or back of the desk. This allows a user to store books or other items conveniently close by without having to leave the desk to access commonly used items. This is a compact version of the bookcase desk and it is ideal for smaller spaces. Larger versions of the bookcase desk may feature a taller bookcase structure on either side of the desktop as well as above it. The size will vary according to the manufacturer's specifications.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

It is not uncommon to find a bookcase desk that features drawers as well as shelves for books. The drawers are usually positioned low on the desk, as they would be with other types of desks, while the bookcases are positioned high, usually above the desktop surface. This design increases the usable area for storage and for working on a computer or for writing. In many cases, the bookcase is actually an enclosed unit mounted above the desktop, and the case will feature hinged doors, often made of wood and glass so a user can see the items within.

A secretary desk can come with bookcases as well. This type of desk features a storage area covered by a drop-down access door. This door is suspended by chains so the door is parallel to the ground when opened, providing a small desktop surface for writing or computer work. The bookcase will be mounted above the secretary desk itself, and the size of the bookcase can vary. This is usually a very compact unit, and desktop computers cannot usually be used on a secretary desk because the desktop is far too small and not nearly stable enough to support the weight of a computer monitor in most cases.

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      Woman holding a book