I need new shelves
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Once again, I got new shelves, and I thought I was good for a while. When I bought my house in August, I got a huge shelving unit, and I even got the books I had boxes away out and displayed. I thought I was good for a while, but here is is, not even nine months later, and I am stacking books on top of the shelves again.
I would really like to do some built-ins, but I don't have the money, tools or skills to do it. I could probably buy some cheap shelves from Target, but I am really trying to avoid buying things that I know I will get rid of when I can afford something better. Of course, I could put a bookshelf in the basement for storage if I got a replacement.... I may have to think about this some more.
I am mostly just lamenting my need for shelves here because I know you all will understand. My mother seems to think I should try getting rid of some of my books if I need space, but that seems crazy to me!
If you can afford it, it would be better to get good quality; if not, maybe an interim cheap shelf would do the job (with a basement in its future).
I have quite a few assemble-it-yourself bookshelves from IKEA, which have lasted well; perhaps they would be within your budget. The tools you need are just a screwdriver and a hammer; everything else comes with it and the skills required are minimal.
Oh, I am good at assemble-it-yourself furniture; it is the idea of a wall full of built-ins that overwhelms me (particularly as I would like to incorporate a buffet in that wall as well, adding to the complexity.) IKEA seems like a good idea, but there isn't one near me, so I either have to make an expensive weekend trip, or pay expensive shipping costs. And, there is the long list of house repairs, stuff for kids and potential vacations that are slightly higher on my priority list at this point, unfortunately.
I am sort of leaning toward the cheap Target shelves, but I really love my nice furniture in my dining room, so I hate to throw something cheap in there. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices, though, and I can remind my self that it is only temporary!
My sister has that same mental problem as your Mother, sussabmax. She is always coming out with insane utterances like "Well just throw away the ones that you've read". I wonder if there is some sort of support group for the poor things?
So sorry to hear that, Jim - it's very sad when that sort of thing happens in one's own family. ;-)
In the 'Good Old Days' we used to banish those family members to the top of the house and nobody would talk about it. Ahhh, the Good Old Days.
Yes, to the East(?) wing and the room with the tree growing out of it. Good times, good times!
If you're going to buy from Target, don't go for the least expensive set they sell; my fiancee bought a set of those during law school, and one of the adjustable shelves actually snapped under the weight. Those shelves are fine for DVDs, but no good for books. Target does have some shelves that look sturdier, but they are more expensive.
My budget shelves are from Wal-mart: cheap and sturdy.
Seconding #8 -- the cheapest bookshelves from Target are really, really bad.
But, I've been pretty pleased with the others I have -- the 5-shelf that stands on legs; see target website. The 5-shelfer is a bit more than $100 and has been pretty damn sturdy, and pretty attractive, too.
Simply, make-do, shelving. But they ain't pretty.
Go to Home Depot (or some such place), buy 2 sheets of 2'x4' pegboard and 1 sheet 2'x4'x1/2" particle board.
Use one sheet of pegboard for the back of the unit.
Have a store employee cut the second piece of pegboard into 4'x8" strips. These are your 2 sides.
Have employee cut the particle board into 2'x8" strips.
When you get home, mark a line down the center of the short sides of the particle board. You can see the lines through the holes in the pegboard. Screw one at the top of the pegboard and one at the bottom.
Then you can make the height of the shevles whatever you want. Use as few or as many as you need.
You may need a 2'x1"x1/2" anchor underneath the bottom pegboard which will keep the unit stable and very slightly tilt it back.
These are much sturdier than you would think. I've had three of them up for a few years now with 2 cats jumping on top of them and a couple of earthquakes and they've not shown any threat of compromise.
It costs about $10 for a 2'x4' shelving unit and can easily be taken apart when they're no longer needed (and be put back together again)
>4, 5, 6, 7 It is sad, isn't it? I am just consider myself fortunate that she didn't pass that insanity down to me (of course, she thinks I have it badkwards.)
>8, 9 Good to know about the cheap Target shelves. I think if I wait until the school year is over, I might be able to get the slightly more expensive shelves without too much trouble.
>10 That doesn't look too hard. I can get the people at the store to do all the big cutting for me. I will have to do some measuring to see if that will work.
I could always do what I did in college--long planks of wood on crates or, wait, I have some of those big stones out back, the kind with two square holes, if you know what I mean. A rectangle roughly 6" X 12", with long flat tops, and two holes through the middle. It would be very rustic, but it might tide me over. I can use the top as a buffet, too.
They're called cinder blocks - a traditional variant on the brick-and-board type of shelving :-)
Ah yes, cinder blocks. I did some long term damage to my hand in college when I accidentally bashed my hand into one that was part of the cinder-block-and-board shelves I had in my dorm room. Other than being very hard (and therefore dangerous to the unwary) they make excellent temporary shelves.
Always, always keep your eyes out for second-hand bookshops (bookstores for those of you in the New World) that are moving or going out of business (sad but true, especially these days). I got three bookcases for $30 each a couple of years ago; 6 shelves x 4 ', 5 shelves x 3' and 8 shelves x 4' for a total of 71 feet of shelves for $90 (sorry about the archaic measurements, but that's the way they were built!)
Yeah; our local Borders seems to be emptying out a lot of shelves, and I was greatly tempted to make an offer on some of them - but I have nowhere to put them!! :-(
Yes, cinder blocks, that's it. I had shelves in college that I made with milk cartons, and they actually held quite a lot. I don't have those crates anymore, though, and the cinder blocks seem more sturdy.
Good idea, too, Jim. I hope it doesn't happen, but if it does, I might as well take advantage of the opportunity. It's also garage sale season, so I might as well try that out, too.
This is the time of year when people have garage sales, might find some bookshelves for $5. keep your eyes open.
The trouble with cinder blocks is that they're such a pain to move, it's easier to leave them for dead. And then you need more shelving as soon as you've moved.
Well, I was going to suggest an easier alternative to #11, but then you all started talking about wooden planks and cinder blocks and beat me to it. :P
I love my wooden plank/clay brick shelves. They're very rustic but that look suits me just fine. Plus I can disassemble the whole thing in no time if I need to move out of this rented apartment. It's not such a pain to move, not really. Well, that's because I have less than 200 books stacked on them, so far. :P
I have some glass block and wood shelves. They're not particularly light, but they are pretty sturdy. :)
I bet that looks very nice, infiniteletters; it also would have the advantage that the glass blocks have a smooth surface, so much less chance of either damaged books or scraped hands.
Stuff for the kids, house repairs, stuff for the kids, family vacations, and more stuff for the kids always seem to take a higher priority than having a place for your books. But be patient. Your time will come. Here is a pictorial how-to-do-it display of Phase I of my library, built six years ago. Click on each picture for instructions.
#12 sighs with memory.
Ah Yes, Cinder Block. Even known as that in Australia in the 60/70's.
I assure you, it will never go out of date!
Your bookshelves look terrific. Thanks for sharing all the detail -- it's inspirational!
If you want the shelves to look nice in the dining room, and to incorporate a buffet, of sorts, you might consider having a cabinet maker build them for you. When remodeling our kitchen, we priced the factory-built cabinets from places like Home Depot, then had a local cabinet maker come in to give us a quote. The total was less than half of the pre-builts. It would cost you nothing to have him come in, so you can discuss your various options, and he'll give you a sketch and a quote.
ooh, and most of my books are still in my parents' house across town...
Them were the days...
22> Those are fantastic! I have a long wait until my kids are old enough to help me build stuff, but I will keep that in mind.
25> That's what I would like to do--get custom built shelves. Hopefully next year I will be able to do that.
Do the math. 1st- You are young so you probably aren't rich. 2nd- You, a book lover, are going to get lots and lots more books over the years
Now would it be better to buy a $1000 dress this yr and not be able to buy a new one for the next ten years. Or would it be better to buy a new $100 each yr and show off how much you figure has improved in the interval.
Seriously. Save your bookcase money until you get to the place that is likely to be your permanent home. After a few years you will get an idea of how many books you 'obtain' a year. You can then better plan what your space needs will be.
Lydia-- Speaking as one of those 'parents across town' whose kids think of my house as their storage place, TAKE YOUR STUFF HOME!!! LOL
True, omboy, I always need new shelves. But I think I may be in my last home--I am not that young! I just bought a house last summer, and I really don't want to move again. I tried to pick something that is big enough to finish raising my two children, but not so big that I will be overwhelmed when they move out. Also, I am afraid I know what my space needs will be--always more! If I can hold out until the kids move out (they are 7 and almost 12), I can steal some of their wall space for shelving, which will help. Some cheaper shelves may help me to hold out that long.
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