I have a pr. of Tannoy Fusion 1's on a bookshelf in my daughters room and they sound just fine. Bill
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Bookshelves are usually about as bad a home for speakers as you can find due to proximity to the wall (among other reasons).
Other than some on-wall designs (which should be ok), there are a few speakers which were designed for bookshelf use.
The old Linn Kann, Wilson Duette, and NHT -can't recall the model name- are specifically designed for close to wall placement.
Some studio monitors (I'm thinking Lipinski) will offer a mixed bag - plus in bass reinforcement, minus in imaging - and might be good options
However, If you like dramatic imaging, stick to stands.
The issue is edge diffraction => claustrophobic sound. You must stay away from any sharp edges close to the edge of the speaker baffle. Ideally you should build them into the bookshelves with a picture frame around the speaker baffle and pack the gap around the speaker with acoustic damping material.
I look at stands as a long term investment, so I went with Sound Anchor adjustable studio stands. They are not inexpensive, but are very flexible and will last forever.
Here's another option: http://www.racksandstands.com/