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Old 09-08-2012, 07:36 AM   #1
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Bookshelves for pbooks

I currently have random bookshelves throughout the house but I need a more organised approach as I'm running out of space. The current bookshelves are quite dark and foreboding and also don't allow much flexibility in what type of books can be stored where.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a (modular) bookshelf system that could fit into a 1920's style house, cope with books of different dimensions and perhaps still allow the occasional painting to be shown. It would be nice if they were moderately tall as I could store more books on a given wall. It would also be nice if the system could accommodate skirting boards. Cost is a big factor so oak etc is out.

I'm looking to hold approx 2000 books.

Many thanks

Mike
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:31 AM   #2
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Sell them. Use the profit to buy one lovely bookcase for the few you can not bring yourself to discard.
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:09 AM   #3
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We have floor-to-ceiling boards and brackets type book shelves in just about every room in our house. which is why I switched to ebooks - no more room.
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_bike_kite View Post
I currently have random bookshelves throughout the house but I need a more organised approach as I'm running out of space. The current bookshelves are quite dark and foreboding and also don't allow much flexibility in what type of books can be stored where.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a (modular) bookshelf system that could fit into a 1920's style house, cope with books of different dimensions and perhaps still allow the occasional painting to be shown. It would be nice if they were moderately tall as I could store more books on a given wall. It would also be nice if the system could accommodate skirting boards. Cost is a big factor so oak etc is out.

I'm looking to hold approx 2000 books.

Many thanks

Mike
Ikea bookshelves with the glass doors look nice and aren't too expensive.



The price for this is listed as $368, but I would buy doors for all three bookcases.

The shelves are adjustable, and you can buy extra shelves. You can also buy an extension for the top to make them taller, and a corner unit to make it bend around a corner.

Here it is in birch, which might make things less foreboding. This shows the top extension unit and the corner unit.



You can also buy solid half doors:



And half-height or half width bookcases (here shown with doored half height/half width bookshelves on the end).



I can really only speak to the birch veneer ones that I have, but it is actual veneer and looks noticeably better than the bookshelves you might buy at Staples. Particularly with the glass doors, as the wood framing on them is solid birch.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
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The current bookshelves are quite dark and foreboding and also don't allow much flexibility in what type of books can be stored where.
I just went through this myself consolidating all the household bookcases into one room. I don't know what is available in the UK, but I purchased maybe 12 cheap (on sale) small bookcases that were 2 or 3 shelves each and just stacked them to whatever conformation was needed. Left a few open spaces for plants or artwork. The bookcases are laminate fake oak or some type of light wood. Painting the walls a nice warm color goes a long way to get rid of the "dark and foreboding" look.
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:03 AM   #6
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I quite liked those ones in birch - problem is I suspect I'd need about 4 of them which might get a little pricey - then again I suppose anything for a front room tends to cost that little bit extra. In a simple world I'd just build my own shelves but sadly my wife has seen my handiwork so she'd quickly veto that idea.
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:48 AM   #7
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Mike - I'd suggest finding a local joiner and getting a quote for custom-made shelving to fit your room. It may not cost any more than buying ready-built shelving and you'll end up with exactly what you want.
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_bike_kite View Post
I quite liked those ones in birch - problem is I suspect I'd need about 4 of them which might get a little pricey - then again I suppose anything for a front room tends to cost that little bit extra. In a simple world I'd just build my own shelves but sadly my wife has seen my handiwork so she'd quickly veto that idea.
I'm a carpenter and make a lot of built-in bookcases for folks who want that kind of 'look' (floor-to-ceiling, wrap-around skirting* and cornice* to match etc...) but I couldn't buy the timber needed to make anything like that Ikea 'Billy' bookcase shown above in a Birch veneer for the £55 that Ikea charges; in other words, they're very good value for money, and I'm writing this in a room full of them!

One caveat with the Ikea stuff; although they do have cut-outs for skirting at the back, they're nowhere near large enough for the skirting profiles we generally have in the (mostly) Victorian properties that make up London's housing stock. So maybe you'll just have to have something made after all, lol

Cheers, Pete.

* translation for Americans; skirting = baseboard, cornice = crown moulding.
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:15 PM   #9
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Another +1 for the IKEA shelves.
Normally I steer clear of IKEA, but their "HEMNES" shelves are an excellent value at about $180 CDN each. I bought three of them in dark brown for my library, and they can be mixed and matched to a fair degree with any of the "BILLY" style shelves. Also, one can add glass doors as well.
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:45 PM   #10
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Another fan of Ikea's Billy Bookcases here! I have 3 floor to ceiling ones in a birch colour and they look really nice.
The shelves are adjustable too, to incorporate your different height books.
I think mine were £55 each.

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Old 09-11-2012, 12:15 AM   #11
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Another vote for Ikea--though I like Harry's recommendation for custom work.

My wife, being insane in a good way, ran the numbers and the Ikea Billy Shelves were the most linear shelf inches per dollar (at least out of the places we checked).
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:24 AM   #12
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I'm with Harry too. If what you have in mind is simple and straightforward to produce, you may well be surprised by the quote - in a good way.

Otherwise I'm another fan of IKEA's Billy, which may well be the cheapest possible way to accommodate a large number of books while still being a good quality product. You may get away with a smaller outlay at Argos for instance, or somewhere similar, but Billy will still look good a couple of decades after whatever you buy there has crumbled into the wood chips it was made from (unless they've begun to cut corners of late - I've not been to IKEA for several years).
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:04 PM   #13
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Yes, I have a number of "Billy" bookcases, but I became a convert to custom-made shelving a few years ago. It needn't cost a lot of money - I was pleasantly surprised at how relatively inexpensive mine were.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_bike_kite View Post
....

Does anyone have any recommendations for a (modular) bookshelf system that could fit into a 1920's style house, cope with books of different dimensions and perhaps still allow the occasional painting to be shown. It would be nice if they were moderately tall as I could store more books on a given wall. It would also be nice if the system could accommodate skirting boards. Cost is a big factor so oak etc is out.

...
I don't know the export price, but if you take a look at Porro, Lema and Tisettanta, you won't be disappointed by their design and quality.
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:34 AM   #15
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I don't know the export price, but if you take a look at Porro, Lema and Tisettanta, you won't be disappointed by their design and quality.
They did look beautiful but none of the web sites I visited showed a price. They preferred instead to give customers an individual quote. Such personal touches told me I couldn't afford them
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