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The Bookshelf Effect: How Bookshelves Make You Look Smarter

the bookshelf effect

The Bookshelf Effect: How Bookshelves Make You Look Smarter

If you want to look smarter at work, bookshelves can help.

In fact, a research done by Durham University has found that people who showcase books in their background during online meetings are more likely to create trustworthy and competent impressions 1. This is in comparison to backgrounds like living spaces, blank walls, virtual backdrops, and blurred surroundings.

Bookshelves have more uses than that, of course. Not only do they provide convenient office storage, but they’re also a testament to your knowledge, curiosity, and interests. They provide you with endless opportunities to express yourself in a professional setting, while giving you some control over how others view your expertise and credibility. You might also discover common interests, potential conversation starters, and opportunities for professional connection with your colleagues along the way.

With those benefits in mind, let’s look at some of the ways bookshelves can help you make the best impression possible.

7 Ways Bookshelves Make You Look Smarter

  1. Knowledge Display: A bookshelf filled with a variety of books showcases your commitment to knowledge and learning. It suggests that you have a wealth of information at your fingertips, which can make you appear more knowledgeable. Of course, this only works if you’ve actually read the books you have displayed.

  2. Cultural and Intellectual Interests: The choice of books on your shelves can reflect your cultural and intellectual interests. It can convey that you are well-rounded and have diverse areas of expertise or curiosity.

  3. Professionalism: In many professional settings, a well-organized bookshelf can convey a sense of gravity and professionalism. It shows that you’re dedicated to your work and career.

  4. Conversation Starter: A bookshelf can serve as a conversation starter. Visitors or colleagues may notice books they have read or are interested in, which can lead to meaningful discussions and networking opportunities.

  5. Resource Library: Having reference materials and books related to your field or industry can be a valuable resource. It implies that you have the tools and information readily available to excel in your work and any action items that come your way.

  6. Aesthetic Appeal: A nicely arranged bookshelf can enhance the overall aesthetics of your office. It demonstrates attention to detail and a sense of order.

  7. Personal Brandng: Your choice of books can also contribute to your personal branding. If you have books related to your field or industry, it can reinforce your expertise in that area. You can also display items from your personal interests, giving others an insight as to who you are outside of your role at work.

What to Look for When Buying a Bookshelf

  • Size: The size of your bookshelf will depend on how much available space you have in your office and how many books you want to display. If you have a lot of books but limited floor space, you may want to opt for a tall bookshelf that maximizes the height of your office.

  • Adjustable Shleves: Books come in many different sizes. To better incorporate taller books in your collection, take advantage of adjustable shelves that will ensure you make the most out of every inch of shelf space.

  • Durability: Books are heavy. You want to look for a bookshelf that is made from durable and study materials. The last thing you want is for your shelves to bend or break from the weight of your books.

  • Style: Look for a bookshelf that matches your current office furniture and the style of your workspace. By choosing a matching bookshelf, you can achieve a cohesive look that feels elevated and professional.
classic bookshleves

Discover a range of shelving options with storage solutions from Source. With products like our Heavy Duty Bookshelves, you can create an office that reflects your knowledge, skills, and interests making you look smarter and ready to tackle anything that comes your way.

Browse our selection online or chat with an office furniture specialist from a Source Office Furniture location near you.

1 Dugan, Emily. Plants or bookcases as backdrop on video call really do impress, study finds. The Guardian. September 28, 2023.