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Have you seen the bookshelf wealth trend that’s gone viral on TikTok? It’s the lived-in look of reading rooms that is having a moment in home decor right now. Imagine a curation of books you’ll actually read paired with a mismatched collection of art, a comfortable reading chair, and task lighting. Get inspirational examples of this bookish lifestyle aesthetic to inspire you below.

collage of photos that depict bookshelf wealth in reading rooms.

Bookshelf Wealth: Meaning of the Trend

Bookshelf wealth is a hot new home decor design trend that’s gained popularity on TikTok. One of the interior designers from House of Hive Design Co. describes the aesthetic in this viral video:

@houseofhive Bookshelf Wealth, what it is and how to achieve it #greenscreen #bookshelfwealth #interiordesign #designtok #2024designtrends ♬ original sound – House of Hive Design Co

Bookshelf wealth is basically the opposite of minimalism and perfectly curated design. It showcases a collection of books you’ve read or will read (your tsundoku), as opposed to coffee table books, and it’s even better if they’re secondhand or worn from use. While massive built-in bookcases with a ladder are so aesthetic, an antique bookcase works well too.

Beyond books, decorative items are collectibles that show your individualism. These are the kind you amass over time and make great talking points, like where you picked them up in your travels or who made them.

It all looks thrown together rather than artfully placed, and the character of the room’s bones is celebrated, from decorative molding to original flooring and exposed elements.

The space’s patterns, textures, and art are maximalist and mismatched, for an unbothered look. Art is displayed unconventionally, such as on the floor or in layers, and window seats are a plus.

The seating is cozy, oversized, and lived-in, and task lighting illuminates it for hygge reading time. Think of the look of Nancy Meyers movies.

Lastly, don’t let the term “wealth” deceive you. While it can imply financial wealth, it’s more about the wealth of living here.

Aesthetic Bookshelf Wealth Decor Ideas

Let’s look at perfect examples of this trend and how you can get the look of this room decor for book lovers:

chair in front of bookcase with ladder.

This room perfectly exemplifies bookshelf wealth, from the ladder to misplaced books, worn seating, and efficient task lighting. The original plank floors are also embraced.

chaise lounge chair near bookshelves.

The antique velvet chaise and trunk in this reading room complement the vintage parquet flooring and, of course, hundreds of books. The way the lamps are supported unconventionally by the trunk and a stool also perfectly exemplifies the unbothered aesthetic.

home library with ladder and chairs.

This is a more masculine and traditional example, and the ladder and mismatched seating make it work particularly well. The velvet and leather textures contrast the dark wood shelving. It feels like Ralph Lauren would read here.

bookshelves and chair in front of a foyer.

This booknook blends bookshelf wealth with “cottagecore,” for an English countryside version of the look. Feminine, old-fashioned patterns are exquisitely mismatched, and the books look shoved onto the shelves. Also notice the antique rugs and unique collection of art displayed in the background.

chair and lamp next to bookshelves.

This example embraces a retro vibe with the vintage stereo displayed as a collectible. The plaid chair and brass lamp look like someone’s grandfather passed them down, and the mix of books with records also make this room feel very personalized.

chair in front of bookshelves.

The highlight of this reading area is the eye-catching decorative objects that make for great conversation starters. The old, oversized chair is also so comfortable looking.

chair in front of bookshelves.

There’s just so much to see in this example, from the eclectic sculpture collection to the abundant and messy book stacks, and beyond. 10 out of 10.

bookshelves under a staircase.

This room is special for its location under a staircase. It balances an array of mismatched, oddly placed rugs really well, and it gets bonus points for being completely and utterly overflowing with books.

messy bookshelves with art.

This reading corner exudes coolness and indifference. The bookshelves themselves appear to be handmade, and the art gives a recklessly squeezed-in vibe. The tiny lamp on a book stack is the perfect accessory.

bookshelves around a window seat.

Finally, this interior decorating example is for those just putting their toe in the water of this design trend. It’s a more neat and organized look with this shelving unit, but it still lets the original flooring shine, and the window seat embraces a cozy reading vibe, particularly with the abundance of pillows and blankets.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does bookshelf wealth mean?

It’s a hot interior design trend that showcases a large collection of books you’ve read or will read. It’s even better if they’re secondhand or worn from use. While massive built-in bookcases with a ladder match the aesthetic, an antique bookcase works well, too.

Is bookshelf wealth the new trend?

Yes. It’s emerging as a new trend, showcasing curated collections of books as a status symbol. This trend emphasizes intellectual display and aesthetic appeal and is gaining popularity on social media platforms, especially among book lovers.

Why is the bookshelf wealth trend causing such a stir?

This trend is causing a stir because it blends intellectual prestige with aesthetic appeal. It highlights personal taste and sophistication, sparking discussions on the value of curated book collections as status symbols.


Bookshelf wealth is the hot new home decor trend that’s gone viral on TikTok. But it’s not necessarily about financial wealth—it’s more about the wealth of living. To get the look, embrace a maximalist and mismatched abundance of books, art, and decor that showcase your life experiences. Highlight the “old” and make it feel cozy.

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  1. My husband and I are avid readers. We have books on our coffee table, kitchen table and bedside table. We also have lovely hand crafted pine shelves that were made at The Woodland Mills in Pennsylvania. We definitely have embraced this esthetic from way back. We can never be minimalist because we can’t have too many books.

  2. I’ve loved this look for decades. I once had a dedicated library, but when we downsized I had to find a new place for all of my books. While they are now technically in my bedroom,I prefer to tell people I sleep in my library. I wish I could attach a pic!