Whenever I put books on a bookshelf, if the don't fill up the entire shelf, they fall over. I don't have a bookend, and I am lazy and like easy methods. How can I prevent the books from falling over?

I've tried leaning them towards the end of the bookshelf, but somehow the books on the edge still manage to fall over. Perhaps that happens when I take books in and out but don't notice. Anyways, I dislike the look of books when they are tilted; straight vertical looks best IMO.

I've tried putting objects next to the books. This helps, slightly, but the objects I don't mind leaving up there aren't heavy enough, so they slide, then the books fall over.

  • We should assume that the shelf is far from being full of books too.
    – Justin
    Dec 14, 2014 at 5:33
  • 1
    Grab 1 or 2 big rocks per side you need from a neighbors yard?
    Dec 14, 2014 at 9:54
  • 4
    Put some books on their side - especially heavy ones
    – mmmmmm
    Dec 31, 2014 at 14:19

4 Answers 4


Low Energy Methods:

  • Take a vase or large jar and fill it with marbles or coins. This is decorative and cheap.

  • Take a clear container and add some of your favourite or needed stuff, make sure they are heavy. Like watches, wallets, etc.

  • Make a stack of books. Simply take a stack of books and place them at the end of the shelf.

  • Also potted plants work to or taking a garden stone and using that.

  • Using a winter(or other) Boot or bottles also help. Creating a food can pyramid works, as well. But make sure the cans are not empty.

Some methods from below may meet your needs without being exhausting.

My thoughts with pics from 21 Simple Ideas for DIY Bookends:

  • Use a pillow. The pillow should be kind of big and heavy.

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  • Use small statues. Try something heavy also dumbbells help if you have a heavy duty shelf. Things like vases and potted plants(may lead to bugs) are helpful. If you can screw the head off the weight that really helps.

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  • Concrete bookends. These can be created from pouring concrete into a plastic mold and setting it for 5-7 days, then curing it. I like to let my concrete set for nearly a month, but I usually use large amounts.

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  • Stick rocks together. You will need hot glue or another strong glue and stick all the rocks together. Using gravel and lots of glue really works.

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  • Covering bricks or just painting books. If you have a old book or a useless book(like Twilight) just paint that, you may need a heavier book or need 2 or 3 together. Also, take a brick and paint it(I do this) or cover it in cloth that matches the decor.

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  • Uses vases with flowers or landscapes. Here is some pretty landscape or terrarium bookend that someone made:

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If you are crafty the sky is the limit. More Ideas:

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Additional Info


Incredible things .com

Depending on the weight of the books you can decide the course of action.

  • Wow. These aren't just makeshift bookends. These are things of art. I wasn't expecting this
    – Justin
    Dec 14, 2014 at 6:13
  • @Quincunx Some need a heavy duty shelf and may need to be modified to make them heavier.
    – Pobrecita
    Dec 14, 2014 at 6:15
  • I was honestly thinking of using some kind of box or something. I prefer minimal craft stuff because I'm lazy too.
    – Justin
    Dec 14, 2014 at 6:15

There's already an excellent answer on here but it's missing my favorite option: C-clamps. It doesn't work for every style but I really enjoy having my grandfather's old clamps propping up my collection.

C-Clamps as a bookend


I have often found that a tube sock around a brick makes an excellent book end.


You could make them from cardboard boxes. Cut away material from the box so that it has 3 side. These will be a bottom side, a rear side and a left/right side. The books will weigh down the bottom side, whilst the left/right side is supported by the rear side. In effect it's like a standar L-shaped bookend, but with rear bracing to compensate for the flimsy material.

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