Before visiting any antique shops or establishing relationships with dealers, it is important that you decide what kind of antique bookcase you want for your home. Try to determine the type of wood you are looking for, the size and style, and even the era during which the antique bookcase was originally built. These factors will help you determine a fair price for the bookcase, and you will need to do some research beforehand to ensure you are as educated as possible about the bookcases you are considering purchasing.
Once you have decided what you are looking for in an antique bookcase, you will need to figure out where you will buy the unit. Antique dealers usually have showrooms you can visit, though they may not have the type of bookcase you are looking for. You can ask the dealer to look for the bookcase that will suit you, but you will need to be patient: it could take only a few days, or it may take a year or more to track down the correct bookcase. The time it takes to find the unit will depend on how rare the bookcase is, as well as what condition you want it to be in.
You can also try tracking down the antique bookcase on your own. This will give you the opportunity to inspect various bookcases and take note of the features and condition of each one. Your search may even change your mind on what you are looking for, as some antique bookcase models may have features you had not previously considered. You will, of course, want to choose a bookcase that will fit the decor of your home, but you may find something that features an interesting style, shape, or finish that appeals to you.
Be sure to choose an appropriate size for the space in which the antique will be placed. A unit that is too large can take over a room and make it uncomfortable, while a unit that is too small may become lost in the decor. Take careful measurements ahead of time so you have an idea of the ideal size for a particular room; these measurements may also help dictate the overall shape of the bookcase. Think about whether you want the case to feature cabinet doors, and if so, what type of cabinet doors. Glass doors are common because they will protect the contents of the cabinet while still allowing you to peruse the books or items within.