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Old 06-04-2009, 12:53 AM   #1
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How Do You Store your *REAL* books?

I'll be moving again soon and I'm facing a severe drop in square footage as I move from the boonies of college town to the city. And my books (and dvd's for that matter, but they are much more manageable!) are staring me in the face as far as problems go.

Currently I have about 750 real books. 4 big shelves and 2 little ones. Mostly these books are the large paperback type of books and hardbacks. I have no idea where I'm going to put them.

To make matters somewhat worse.. I actually really prefer a very sparse aesthetic, so ideally I'd like to have the books not on shelves at all but still accessible (well, about one shelf would be fine - things I'm actively using). I'm going to be living in an apartment though... so construction is pretty much not an option - I have to try to find a reasonable (in terms of price) solution working with that criteria.

About 170 I can safely box up and put in storage as I have access to them as ebooks or have them as ebooks (classics, things I've bought twice, etc). So I'm left with about 600 books that need homes!

As I know many of you are bibliophiles that put me to shame - what do YOU do? How would you suggest I solve my problem?
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Underbed bins are too short for most my books, btw... but I like the idea. I just need to find some that are drawers and tall enough to accommodate most my books.
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:40 AM   #2
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If you can spare a closet, you can make shelves inside and your books will be accessible but not on view. Cement blocks and boards will do if you don't want to buy a shelf unit that will fit in the closet. If you use the entire depth of the closet, you can put your books at least 2 deep on the shelves.

Underbed bins might work if you turn the books spine up -- makes them easier to find, too.
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:45 AM   #3
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As I know many of you are bibliophiles that put me to shame - what do YOU do? How would you suggest I solve my problem?
Hmm, I moved so I could put my books up again... I was really running out of book space in the old house... Right now, I need to make a pic of my current library, but I have a few shelves (about 10, from the top of my head), double stacked, with books. When we're done, the walls of the lounge will be covered in books!




(ok, it wasn't the only reason, but still!)
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:43 AM   #4
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I have had several thousand books that I have hauled around with me for years. this last move had to be completely different as it was unpaid for, and I left all my books at home (living in 2 different states is awkward). the second time I was in Germany I got a "shrunk" (probably misspelled), it is essentially a large wall unit. after returning to the states I literally had to keep that unit in mind when moving as there were some places it would not fit.

going back to my college days, we used to get wood planks and cinder block bricks. before you completely cringe, bear with me... some are now extremely decorative and you can paint them. in the meantime.... I thank all the literary gods for my Kindle!
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:52 AM   #5
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I have boxed about 700 of my books in boxes left over from Office Depot paper deliveries. Each box is numbered and I have a database which tracks which box the book is in by author's name and title. The boxes are neatly stacked in the top shelves in my closet.
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:13 PM   #6
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that's a BIG closet!
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:18 PM   #7
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I have boxed about 700 of my books in boxes left over from Office Depot paper deliveries. Each box is numbered and I have a database which tracks which box the book is in by author's name and title. The boxes are neatly stacked in the top shelves in my closet.
quite an appropriate screen name!
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:30 PM   #8
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I have boxed about 700 of my books in boxes left over from Office Depot paper deliveries. Each box is numbered and I have a database which tracks which box the book is in by author's name and title. The boxes are neatly stacked in the top shelves in my closet.
Now, that is meticulous organization.

@ Gideon: I agree with the idea of closet usage, I use half of mine (it's small) for book storage and the rest for generic closet use. I also have two wooden underbed bins (completely customised thanks to our cheap, yet efficient local carpenter). If your books are too tall, place them horizontally. This will obviously however make retrieval more difficult than vertical storage.

So that's all I got.
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:37 PM   #9
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My husband put me on a book ban last month when I brought home 10 new books and started to make a book stack on my bedroom floor. I can't bring home any physical books until August 1. Of course e-books and comic books don't count.
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:37 PM   #10
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I have a similar problem -- small Victorian apartment, spouse who is also a packrat, desire for a minimalistic aesthetic.

I also want to keep my pbooks clean and dust free.

I bought 2 Mission-style bookcases with doors from Target. The shelves are adjustable and the doors keep things hidden.

Narrow shelves

Wider shelves

They are quite nice, especially for the price.
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:44 PM   #11
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They look very nice, but I don't think they'd be sufficient... looks like each one can probably only hold about 150 books (being generous - 180 dvd's) so I'd need a LOT of them (at least 4).

The box thing might work - depending on our closet space. We're looking at a place Sat that is supposed to have lots of closets. I'd really hate to make things so unavailable (as they are mostly non-fiction I generally check references quite a bit) but one does what one must.
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:48 PM   #12
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They look very nice, but I don't think they'd be sufficient... looks like each one can probably only hold about 150 books (being generous - 180 dvd's) so I'd need a LOT of them (at least 4).

The box thing might work - depending on our closet space. We're looking at a place Sat that is supposed to have lots of closets. I'd really hate to make things so unavailable (as they are mostly non-fiction I generally check references quite a bit) but one does what one must.

I have the narrow shelves, and over 150 books in each one. The wider shelves would hold 300 books at my best guess, so that would be 2 for you if you're going to pare down your collection. Of course, YMMV with the different thickness of books.

I used to keep my books in boxes, but found it was the same as not having them at all so I recycled all the ones I had boxed.
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:46 AM   #13
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I have two of bookcases
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:56 AM   #14
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I have two of bookcases
I got three of these (30cm deep) and one of the 50cm variety. But ours have 6 or 7 shelves per unit (I've been collecting Ivar shelving units for over 20 years now...)
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:59 AM   #15
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I was very surprised by IKEA quality. I thought that for such price, all shelves will bend under books weight within 2-3 years. However, 4 years and no signs of shelf deformation, considering that all my books are hardback editions or worse.
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