Suppose I want to write a review about a specific book. I want to include this (two forms):

  • This is an essential book for everyone's bookshelf
  • This is an essential book for everyone's bookshelves

Which one is correct?

  • What do you want to tell us? What's the context? Is it a book you want to refer to often or one you may look at occasionally? Bookshelves suggests a large collection of books, that possibly aren't looked at very often, bookshelf suggests a small collection, maybe kept close at hand. You may also have an ornamental bookshelf, such as the one that's behind your head on a video call, in which case you might want to show the book off but not read it.
    – Stuart F
    Aug 5 at 8:26
  • Is the focus that you should keep the book, or where you should specifically keep it? I feel that repeating the word book is like saying "A breakfast food you should eat for breakfast". Aug 5 at 9:11
  • In my personal case, I keep my book collection on multiple bookshelves, so I would probably use 'bookshelves'. If I had only a single bookshelf, then saying or thinking 'bookshelf' would make more sense to me.
    – Brandin
    Aug 5 at 12:04
  • I've tried to clarity the question with a better example and re-open it.
    – gctwnl
    Aug 5 at 13:30
  • I think the use of “on your bookshelf” elevates the particular book as being of superlative value in literature over other books. As an example, of the many novels of Frank Herbert, Dune is by far the most well-known, having won a Hugo award, and the very first Nebula award. It has been made into several movies and television series. Personally, if I were in the unenviable situation of having to have just one science fiction novel in my bookcase, Dune would be my choice.
    – IconDaemon
    Aug 5 at 13:32


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