Potemkin bookshelf: someone's bookshelf filled with books they've never read.

Books put on display only for the sake of display or some sort of vicarious status seeking.

Did you see that fake intellectuals bookshelf? He doesn't even have an idea of what's in those books on his shelf.
Did you see that fake intellectuals bookshelf? He doesn't even have an idea of what's in those books on his potemkin bookshelf.

Derived from Potemkin village: a village that is just a facade. Just for show. Enter any door and it turns out to be hollow. Totalitarians and dictator types tend to build these in order to impress their oppressed masses or convince the outside that they are a salubrious nation when they are not.
by Shawlatan July 7, 2022
'Slowly touching myself, whilst covering myself in I can't believe it's not butter and watching the Notebook'
I can't believe I spent all Saturday night 'sorting my bookshelf out'. Best Saturday ever
by Ruttiger_Stone January 8, 2015
Something you will find in every midwestern white household.
Timmy has an unorganized bookshelf.”

“Oh, I didn’t know Timmy was white and lived in the midwest.”
by h_f_ch February 20, 2022