Once upon a time I actually thought I could say adios to my nightstands — boy was I wrong. I did succeed for about a week and then I came to my senses and made nightstands out of a laundry frame from IKEA and some plexi-glass. I won't ever go back to sans nightstand because they not only serve a very useful purpose, they're also the finishing touch on the room.
If you're a book lover, a nightstand with shelves or drawers would be the best bet. That way you can store several books and safely tuck them away at night. Using chairs as nightstands has been an increasingly popular option. Chances are you already own the chair, so it's an easy repurpose and it gives the room an updated rustic quality.
I have always felt that nightstands are an extension of their owner's personality and with so many different shapes, colors and sizes available — I think I'm right.