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Bookends! (even numbers, please)

Bookcases: If You Build/Buy Them, They Will Fill

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Sep 7, 2006, 12:32am Top

Most of us prefer 'book-beginnings' , but bookends - aside from their ornamental flavor - keep our books from leaning to or fro (or crashing to the ground).

There are the standard library L-shaped ones, and there are bricks and concrete blocks. From the cheap ones to the clique-accessory store expensive models, we have those things that keep our books upright (other than the obvious sides of bookcases).

What are your favorite bookends? What are the most practical for those of us on a limited budget? What are the weirdest?

Sep 7, 2006, 7:11am Top

Bookends? Surely you jest. My books are their own bookends. The shelves are so crowded, there is no room for a bookend. You are definitely in need of very serious help :).

Sep 7, 2006, 12:04pm Top

It is my hope that one day my book to bookshelf ratio will be low enough to allow me to deploy a small army of decorative bookends, but for now my books are jammed in and usually end up holding each other up.

Sep 7, 2006, 12:17pm Top

I have a few L-shaped ones, useful for the edges of tall shelves where even stacks of books tend to fall occasionally; some old triangular ones which slot onto the shelf and I haven't been able to find any more since c.1983; and some children's ones. Those are my favourite - there are two pairs with Maisy on (Lucy Cousins) and a pair with elephants engrossed in books.

Sep 7, 2006, 12:26pm Top

My bookshelves also are far too crowded to entertain bookends! But I have two sets of bookends that I use for decorative purposes...both in the living room. On a table I have scroll bookends with a few books between. On the mantle I have bookends that belonged to my Mom when she was a little girl in the 1930's---they are ceramic figures of girls sitting on books. Very special!

Sep 7, 2006, 3:59pm Top

I don't use a lot of bookends, since most of my books are on shelves. But I do have one adjustable set that sits on top of my living room radiator cover and holds about a dozen "currently reading" and "soon to be read" books. This general concept, but a different design on the end pieces.

Someone gave me a nice pair with cats, but I use them more as decorations since I need the space on my bookshelves for the books!

Sep 9, 2006, 12:21pm Top

I use bookends for the tops of my bookcases. I'm not sure which is my favorite. I have a couple of the boring library metal bookends, a "BO" and "OK" pair, Aslan and the White Witch pair, Gandolf and Bilbo pair, and a cats climbing the bookcase pair. There's a pair of rose quartz geodes that I may "permanently borrow" from my mother some day. I really regret never buying the dragons on computers pair that I saw years and years ago. Luckily, I don't come across too many clever designs or I'd probably collect them as well as books.

Sep 11, 2006, 1:41pm Top

L shaped you can with care effectively extend the end of the shelf if you use L shaped book ends

Sep 13, 2006, 12:02am Top

Any bookend works much better if you glue or just place a bit of that shelf liner that is like a rubbery mesh. You know the kind I mean that keeps things from sliding around. This stuff is also sold as underpadding for area rugs or for under placemats or many other uses. Find the biggest size for the cheapest price and cut it for your own purposes. I was shocked to see what they charge for it when it's already cut up for the purpose as compared to on the roll. It's also useful for any equipment that tends to slide around or vibrate or make lots of noise. I use it under my keyboard, which tends to slip across the keyboard shelf as I type, under my serger and sewing machine both for the slipping issue and for noise reduction, under placemats and seat cushions that slide around on chairs and of course the remnants are used in small pieces under bookends and other heavy objects that I don't want sliding off of tables. Also cushions some against scratching and chipping of furniture by heavy objects like lamps and ceramics and things.

Sep 18, 2006, 11:23pm Top

Speaking of L-shaped bookends...I did notice the other day that Amazon's lowest-price set goes for $2.99 (the shipping is probably the same amount or more!); so for those looking for a larger volume of these, this might not be too bad an investment.

Other than stacking books horizontally at the end of each side, has anyone found an easy way to make bookends? (I really like warbrideslass' previous comments on non-sliding material.)

And as a follow-up: What common heavy, vertical objects make good bookends?

The more vertical and less horizontal shelf-space taken up, the better (i.e. bowling balls = bad, ornate steel candlestick holders = good, as long as the candles are not lit, of course!)

Edited: Sep 19, 2006, 7:42am Top

If you feel guilty pitching long-forgotten sports trophies into the trash after the kids are grown, you'll find they make good relatively thin vertical bookends on a shelf (they're too light to be bookends with no side support) as do ornamental stuffed animals (my adult Bat Mitzvah bear is a happy reader), framed photos, and other flotsam and jetsom that normally finds its way to a convenient shelf such as piles of mail and unread memos from work(much easier than putting away somewhere), old tax returns, art projects from the kids and grandkids, a much-needed flashlight, a clock -- there are so many ways to be creative here.

Sep 19, 2006, 8:19am Top

I have a couple I use now that I've got extra shelves with space yet to be filled. They've been with me for about 20 years and are dark red with a gorgeous Japanese cherry blossom motif on them. Am glad I have space on my shelves to put them to use.

Dec 9, 2006, 11:30am Top

When I was a proverbial knee-high, my folks had a pair of bookends (gold-painted plaster with red felt glued to the underside) the were shaped like a portly old grandpa-type sitting contentedly in a barrell-back chair reading a large book. They were always in sight while I was sitting in my favorite reading 'nest'. I don't know what happened to them, but I suspect that one of my several siblings has them now.

Currently, my favorite ones are cast-iron scrollwork bookends of various sizes. They're heavy enough that they don't shift too readily, and they're easy to grab to dust off when I do my semi-monthly book-dusting maintenance.

A goodly amount of our books are in bookracks (some wooden, some metal) that my wife picks up at Goodwill for 1 to 2 dollars each. We've got 20 or more of them as adjunct storage space all over the house (hence, my moniker). The rest of the books are stacked, by size, on certain floors, chairs, endtables.... Cant wait for the new bookcases to arrive!!!

Dec 9, 2006, 5:40pm Top

I use large beautiful rocks which my parents have found here and there in the western states.

Jan 28, 2007, 6:42pm Top

I have two pairs, both formerly my grandmother's: a large, halved geode and two vaguely Japanese-looking carved wooden blocks.

Edited: Jan 29, 2007, 11:59pm Top

The new bookshelves aren't ready yet (ref: >13 WholeHouseLibrary:), but we've been picking up new bookends here and there -- a cast iron fleur-du-lis, and a few more as described above. This past weekend, I was in an antique shop. I found a great mortar-and-pestal that I can use as a bookend, and a pair of bookends (for a really good price) that are monkeys reading books. Now, if only I could find one jumping on a typewriter, spewing Shakespeare....

Jan 30, 2007, 4:17am Top

#16 surely that's a double heresy there - Pestle and morters aren't decorative objects there for cooking with, and bookends in general do seem to imply you just don't have enough books!

Jan 30, 2007, 6:02pm Top

I burn! I burn!!

The Pestal and Mortar are cast iron and weigh about 12 lbs. They are far from the medicinal or culinary varieties you might be used to. Okay, I ~could~ use them for cracking open walnuts, but I have no idea what they were used for prior to my purchasing them, and I am not a risk-taker, particularly when it regards something that will end up in my stomach.

As to the need for bookends, I intend to remedy that blasphemy as soon as it is practical. In the mean time, I wish to keep the books upright.

Jan 31, 2007, 5:22am Top

Chemistry scientists (just to avoid the confusing medicinal chemists) do sometimes use large pestal and morters for crushing solids into larger surface area powders prior to reacting them. Not so common in this day and age, but it used to be a frequent occurance. Agreed this would not be a good idea to use in cooking!

Feb 19, 2007, 7:47am Top

My current "favourite" bookends are the only set I own... ;)

Bought in South Korea a couple of years ago, they are cast in bronze and really quite heavy! They are in the shape of an elderly Korean couple, leaning on / standing next to a fence (the bit that pushes up against the books).

A slightly blurry photo is here:

Mar 13, 2007, 2:00am Top

Don't know if you would count this as a bookend, but I needed to find a way to put cookbooks on the top of a bookshelf. I had recently been to a Sam's Club and had picked up a box used to display a cheese product on their shelves (You have to box your purchases there.). It was not only colorful and food-related but also 2 feet long and about 10" deep. It keeps the cookbooks from falling down when I pull one out to use a recipe (or just to read--I actually do that sometimes).

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Mar 13, 2007, 2:10am Top

I don't know what happened. I wrote a message and found it had been posted EIGHT times!! Sorry, I don't know why.
I was also going to mention that on my cookbook shelves, I use plastic boxes filled with recipe cards or Contac-covered cardboard boxes filled with the recipe booklets people keep giving me. Since I also buy food magazines, I make magazine boxes from cereal boxes (top removed, one narrow side cut like the commercial magazine storage boxes, and 2 sides cut at an angle to the cut) and use them on the shelves with the taller cookbooks.

Mar 13, 2007, 10:42am Top

I unfortunately have no room for my bookends so they reside in various boxes packed away safely in two states *sigh* so many books, never enough shelf space. Although, Trollsdotter I think I will be swiping the idea of using them for the top of the cases as inevitably I end up filling that space with books as well.

Mar 16, 2007, 12:29am Top

I have the Two Towers bookends which end up being DVD-ends. I have a neato old school microphone and a few old cast iron irons. The irons are nice because they are small yet NOTHING can push those puppies over. I have to say, rarely do my intended bookends ever get used as such, mostly they sit in front of the books, as if to say "Well, if I had more shelves I *would* be a bookend, but I'm just decoration!"

We are currently in the process of selling our home (fingers crossed) and in the budget is for me to be able to replace my built in wall of bookshelves at my new home, only designed how I want them to be, so this group is PERFECT for me. The downside to my built-ins now is that they are so deep that I end up double/triple stacking. (Thanks WholeHouseLibrary and Steinbock!)

Shelves designed around the books...*sigh*

Mar 16, 2007, 1:50am Top

You're welcome auntbeast, but really -- steinbock deserves the credit here.

"Shelves designed around the books..." -- And should it be any other way?

I'm quite bothered by cereal manufacturers who suddenly decided that their boxes didn't have to fit on pantry shelves anymore. I refuse to buy their product now.

Mar 16, 2007, 12:27pm Top

I give him credit for the shelves, but you get lots of credit for openly admitting you have a "whole house library" and your discussions are invariably interesting and informative (although I'll be damned to find a good DDS website)

I just read the book on the bookshelf that discusses how bookshelves came to be. It seems that shelves being designed for books has passed by the wayside and instead, they have become more display areas. I find it odd that it is very easy to find CD/VHS/DVD shelves that are designed specifically for those items (which granted, are a rather standard size) than for say, paperback books. Through my own organizational efforts I discovered that an old VHS shelf was pretty perfect for mass market paperbacks. They fit and they were angled up so easier to see. If bookshelves were designed around books, I doubt we would have this group.

There was actually an episode on HGTV of a show that is about people using unusual structures for homes and they had a couple that bought an old school house. There was an odd little raised section on one side of the room that they ended up making into a library. It was quite well done and did a good job of having a living area as well as a library area without being it odd. (I have issues mixing books with technology, the noise and distraction of TV is an anathema to the quiet of a book)

Apr 13, 2007, 4:07am Top

We only have four -- one on the shelf where the paperbacks end (and since it's a standard case, nothing else fits there). That one is a chinese dragon statue I bought for my husband about 4 years ago.

We have a bookcase that is right in front of my treadmill, and one shelf is only 30% covered (intentionally), so the rest of the space is open for my laptop when I'm working out (it's amazing how much faster those four miles go with a couple episodes of Rome or I, Claudius or Firefly or Buffy to keep me going). That one uses a dragon statue that my husband was given when he got married to his ex wife.

One shelf holds oversized coffee table books, and is only about 50% full. Those are held up by two matching marble orbs about 6 inches in diameter. They're heavy suckers and do the job nicely.

Jan 13, 2008, 2:20am Top

I have always wanted a nice pair of busts as bookends, specifically a pair of Dante and Beatrice ones. Any suggestions?

Jan 13, 2008, 2:10pm Top

Jeaneva, you are not alone! For a while after undergrad, I had an extra "shelf" of paperbacks in the form of a flower delivery box (e.g. http://ww11.1800flowers.com/product.do?baseCode=16116&cm_cid=o). Other than that I just have some plain black L's my mom bought for my freshman dorm room, which had open-ended plank shelves on shelf standard brackets.

Jan 14, 2008, 4:01pm Top

35> Barnes & Noble has some Homer and Aristotle bust bookends. I went looking for bookends a couple of years ago so that I could put more books on the tops of my bookshelves (because they were full), and I couldn't find them anywhere! I finally found one set at Pier 1, and then I went camping at Mark Twain lake for my summer vacation so that we could drive into Hannibal and visit the rock store near the Mark Twain cave. I got some beautiful geode bookmarks there. Now, B&N has a bunch of them, but I am broke from Christmas and buying new shelves right now. Hopefully they will still have some next month. At $40 - $70 a pair, I need to plan ahead for this.

Jan 15, 2008, 3:30pm Top

#35> I have a pair of bust bookends: two Dantes, though; no Beatrice.

Jan 15, 2008, 3:44pm Top

I was given a set of metal bookends shaped like an A and a Z. I think they were mentioned in an episode of Friends as being a rubbish Christmas present but mine have been quite useful.
I use the A as a doorstop and the Z came in very handy that Christmas as we all used it to crack walnuts with when the nutcracker broke.
My bookcases are all to full of books to waste the space with a bookend.

Jan 15, 2008, 5:47pm Top

I have four pairs of metal L shaped bookends. They don't look attractive, but then again I only use them when I am taking out a volume or two from a shelf and don't want the adjacent books to shift or fall. Other than that my shelves are too filled to actually keep them constantly in use.

Jan 17, 2008, 9:47am Top

I was fortunate enough to become the owner of a lot of Cantalibra metal library shelving a few years ago. Each shelf has a set of rails beneath it that suspend a bookend, on small horizontal plastic wheels, which serves for the shelf below. The bookend part can be bought alone as an accessory and I have often considered experimenting with putting DIY rails on the undersides of my wooden shelving. Has anyone else tried this?

Jan 19, 2008, 7:46pm Top

I am kind of a sucker for bookends. I bought 4 during the Harry Potter merchandising craziness. One is a witches hat. I like that. Then this summer I bought two Art D'eco pieces from my SIL who has a used stuff store. There's more but I am not home to take an inventory. Maybe some day soon I'll be back with the rest.

Jan 20, 2008, 9:35am Top

At a used bookstore yesterday, I saw a neat pair of makeshift bookmarks: 2 mason jars filled with polished rocks.

Jan 21, 2008, 8:35pm Top

Yes, I have the occasional mason jar filled with rocks or seashells or mardi gras beads used as bookends. Sadly, most my shelves are too full to need them.

Jan 22, 2008, 1:36pm Top

>Yes, I have the occasional mason jar filled with rocks or seashells or mardi gras
>beads used as bookends. Sadly, most my shelves are too full to need them.

Sadly? I don't get it, more books is good right? :)

Jan 23, 2008, 11:39am Top

:) Yes! More books is good, not enough book shelf space is sad!

Jan 23, 2008, 11:39am Top

I have a wicker-basket full of those rectangular outline, metal end brackets that slot onto the shelves. I have exactly one open ended shelf that I can use them on, the rest are all closed-sided and jammed from end to end with books. I *used* to use them a lot, though.

I also have a really nice pair of deep brown polished agate in rock bookends, levelled at the bottom and side (from one of those crystal shops you see from time to time). I have twelve or so of my nicer, rarer books in a little display in between these, because they're too nice not to use, but I begrudge the space I have to leave on the shelf to show them off!

There's also a small dragon wedged between a book and the end of a shelf, which - when the shelf was only half full - held them up. Now it's full, the dragon looks a wee bit squashed and obsolete :/ If I buy one more book, he'll have to find a spot on his own.

Erm, sorry, did I say 'if' ?

Jan 23, 2008, 11:45am Top

As far as I'm concerned, the only bookends I use are the four walls and the ceilings of the various rooms in my house that contain books (about six of them - rooms that is, not books)

Jan 30, 2008, 1:40pm Top

Most of my bookends are box sets or stacks of heavy books that ran out of room going the other way.
#44 I have a glass jar thing filled with marbles that used to be a bookend but now just takes up needed book room.

Jan 31, 2008, 4:19am Top

Mason Jars, there is a Word I haven't heard for a few years.

Please explain.


Edited: Feb 16, 2008, 2:08pm Top

I buy heavy, tall bookends with flat surfaces against the books to protect the books from warping. However, they tend to be expensive.

I make my own from glass bricks. I add four rubber/silicone 'feet' to the bottom so they don't slide. They come in square and tall rectangular sizes. They have proven to work well over the past few years, and cost much less than the heavy bookends I had been using (like $15 vs $40). I found a line of glass bricks with an opening in one end, which would allow filling them with marbles, sand, or whatever, to add color and weight.

For protecting the condition of books, I don't recommend the 'L-shaped' bookends which require sliding a metal piece under the books. Sliding them under the books, or sliding the books onto the base, tends to cause extra wear to the bottom edges of the books. I know public libraries use these, but, after stamping and labeling their books, they are obviously not interested in keeping books in 'like new' condition. Being both a collector and avid reader, balancing protecting books while using them is always an issue for me.


Feb 16, 2008, 6:44pm Top

52 Osbaldistone

I would love to use glass bricks, but they're not available where I live. I tried to buy some when I first moved here a few months ago and the guy at the hardware store told me they're illegal because they explode in fires.

Edited: Sep 16, 2009, 4:26pm Top

What I ended up using was sold by the Container Store. They may still sell them. They look like glass bricks, but may not be the same as what is used in construction, and are sold as decorative accents (flower vases, etc). They have an opening on one edge so you can add your own decorative touches. If Container Store doesn't still sell them, someone may.

FWIW - there's a picture of my library a little way down on my profile page. On some shelves, you can see tall glass bricks holding books in place. You'll get an idea of the size and shape, anyway. I have two sizes, one twice the height of the other.

Hope this helps,


Feb 29, 2008, 2:16pm Top

Too many books for most shelves to have bookends, but I have a set of gorgeous stone bookends my husband bought me that I use one on the end of each of two shelves. I keep short, small, thin books on these shelves and still have room for the bookends.

Other than that, I have a set of ratty L-shaped metal bookends holding up the family bibles and old 4-inch-thick dictionaries on the 1928 White Sewing Machine in the living room. The books are all dark leather, and the bookends just blend in and it appears from a distance as if the books are holding themselves up.

Mar 17, 2008, 10:02am Top

At a flea market on Saturday, I picked up a book and caused an unfortunate domino effect....Apparently the vendor thought a few lightweight pillar candles would make good bookends.

I, however, appreciate the value of actual bookends on open shelves, so I purchased (from a different vendor) a spiffy pair of resin gargoylesque grotesques. :)

Mar 17, 2008, 10:22am Top

I had to resort to bookends to get some of the weight off my shelves which were beginning to bow dangerously from the heft of the books.

Mar 17, 2008, 2:37pm Top

I use an old cast iron iron, as in ironing board, to hold up the cook books in the kitchen.

Way back in the days when I was a mechanic I had an empty soda can that we filled with lead to hold up the manuals I kept on my tool box. It took a few tries to learn how to add the molten lead to the can without burning the paint off but we figured it out.

Mar 21, 2008, 11:16am Top

I use an iron too! Only one though. I'd use more if I had more.

Jun 19, 2008, 5:12pm Top

New Bookends Alert!

I was perusing the clearance bin at Barnes and Noble today, and snagged the only set of Shakespeare bookeneds. Originally marked $70, but got them for $30, as they were the store's display set. Beautiful busts of ol' Willie perched upon rather studious looking tomes, made of a cream colored Italian bonded marble. Score!

B&N also had multiple sets of brass frogs reading books bookends. They're having a clearance sale online, so there might be more goodies online!

Jun 20, 2008, 1:27pm Top

My shelves are open at the ends that don't abut walls as they are the track shelves that screw into the wall. I got metal bookends at Wal-Mart...they were 4/$5.00. I'd like prettier ones, but because these are so thin, I can pack books almost to the edge of the shelf, which means more room for books. Also they have a rubber piece on the bottom that keeps them from sliding off the shelves.

Jun 23, 2008, 1:06pm Top

Since I have far more books than shelves to place them on, my new Shakespeare bookends (see post #60) are now table-top decorations.

I wanted to suggest a fun, spring/summer bookend idea I've come up with. For bookends that serve more as decoration than heavy-duty bookstops, use flowers! Little terra-cotta (sp?) pots with blooming flowers would brighten up any space.

I got the idea from the used bookshop down the street. They have a few bookend sets which double as planters.

Jun 24, 2008, 4:30pm Top

I hit one local B&N yesterday, no bookends. Books, and other kitsch, but no bookends. I'll definately hit a couple others. I've wanted the polar bear set for a long time...

Jun 25, 2008, 9:26am Top

Try E-Bay. I was in a bookend collecting phase for a while and I came away with some wild ones, Ottoman turks, art deco foxes, etc. I bet somebody will have your polar bears.

Jun 25, 2008, 9:59am Top

My favorite bookends are from my Grandpa. For my wedding he gave me a pair of bookends made from some kind of rock. He cut them and polished them, and they look amazing. They are kind of a light blue color on the inside. Hard to describe.

Oct 31, 2008, 3:03am Top

I love all my bookends. A friend who is a geologist gave us a set of polished stone that sound something like yours, and they are beautiful, as well as heavy enough to hold any weight books upright! Other bookends (like those I feature on my blog neatoldbooks.com) we bought at antique shows; others were gifts, but a couple - like the one I use for my LibraryThing ID pic - I bought at a Scandinavian furniture store. The place had very few accessories for sale, just a handful of things scattered around that served as decoration, including these bookends. It's surprising how many stores have bookends tucked away in unlikely places. If you like to have more control over the final appearance of your bookends, an efficient, reasonably priced approach is to join two pieces of wood together in an L, then attach to the wood whatever decorative item best suits your purpose and style. You can even stain or paint the wood the same color as the wood of your bookshelves.

Nov 12, 2008, 3:06pm Top

We've got a few sets of bookends -- including a couple of cool alabaster egg-shaped things from somewhere or another.

I've found, however, that bookends are largely decorative instead of functional. I've taken to just shelving everything without more than about 2" of extra space per shelf. When that gets filled, I just accumulate new acquisitions until I've got enough to justify shifting. Usually, this comes to be about 4-5 linear feet of books, but sometimes closer to 15 linear feet.

Then, I pour myself a pint of something dark and malty and spend a several pleasant hours shifting books. Besides being very enjoyable, I get to touch all of my books every couple of months.

It's good to remain acquainted.

Nov 12, 2008, 4:34pm Top

"Then, I pour myself a pint of something dark and malty and spend a several pleasant hours shifting books. Besides being very enjoyable, I get to touch all of my books every couple of months."

Do I ever identify with this! But, that is why we are all here isn’t it?

Nov 12, 2008, 4:47pm Top

The Dutch poet J.C. Bloem had the habit of wrapping the books in his library in shiny, translucent paper. When he became old and almost blind, he kept rewrapping them, so as to still have physical contact with them.

Edited: Nov 12, 2008, 6:47pm Top

#68 TLCrawford:

The thing that surprises me sometimes is that there are plenty of members of the reading tribe that do not understand the sublime pleasure of spending an afternoon handling all of one's books while drinking a locally-brewed porter.

These are the same confusing folk that do other strange things, like get rid of books, buy ebooks, and...dare I say it...have rooms in their houses that do not have any books in them. Boggles the mind.

I guess there are readers, and bibliophiles, and readers who are bibliophiles -- and bibliophilic maltophilic readers. Vive la differance, I guess.

Nov 13, 2008, 8:19am Top


I agree whole-heartedly. Vive la difference! The only thing worse than all people being the same would be if all the books were the same.

Nov 13, 2008, 10:45am Top


would you consider the substitution of the beer/porter with a glass of single malt Highland or Isley whisky appropriate? I like beer, but I really like my single malt... neat, of course.

Nov 13, 2008, 12:44pm Top

#72 skittles:

Why choose when you can do both. It being thirsty work, I stick with the beer during the shifting itself.

When all is shifted, then I sit back and survey my work in the company of fingers of whisky, perhaps with just a dribble of spring water to liven the malt.

These days, I'm happily working my way through a Balvenie Doublewood 12 yr., a Balvenie Portwood 21 yr., and a Lagavulin 16 yr.

Nov 13, 2008, 1:57pm Top

And returning to original topic, industrial tiles make fantastic bookends. After being part of industrial exhaust pipe mine are looking still pretty good, they are sturdy and did not cost a penny.

You can see them on my home page:)

Nov 13, 2008, 2:32pm Top

#73: oooohhh.. Balvenie!! I love that one!!

I was recently gifted with some Glenfiddich 15 year.... but Balvenie ....

(if my shelves weren't already filled with books, I might be tempted to keep my empty bottles to remember the good times & tastes.)

Now returning to the original topic.

Edited: Nov 13, 2008, 2:33pm Top

original topic? must be too much malt...

Nov 13, 2008, 2:34pm Top


If I have no room for my whisky bottles, how can I have room for bookends?

hmmm.... whisky bottles as bookends??

Nov 13, 2008, 3:00pm Top

If you fancy the Lagavulin have you tried Laphroig or Ardbeg? All 3 of those distilleries are side by side on the Isle of Islay and produce 3 of the best scotchs I know. I particularly like the Ardbeg myself, give it a try if you can find some!

Nov 13, 2008, 3:44pm Top

Once, when it was slow at work I took an empty beer can and filled it with lead. I used it as a bookend for shop manuals on top of my toolbox. It was not easy to find a way to poor molten lead into a aluminum can without burning the paint off of it but it can be done.

When I get Scotch I feel compelled to buy Crawford’s.

Nov 13, 2008, 3:45pm Top

#78: bernsad

I have indeed. If I had to place them in order, I'd go for Lagavulin, Laphroig, and then Ardbeg, but none of them would be hardship.

And we musn't forget Talisker, the only malt from the Isle of Skye.

Nov 13, 2008, 8:56pm Top

I think Talisker was the first single malt that I ever tried and still one of my favourites.

Nov 14, 2008, 9:40am Top

I can also heartily recommend Compass Box. It's not single malt, but blended whisky of the finest sort.

Nov 14, 2008, 11:00am Top

So, my Whisky Bottle Bookends should consist of:

Compass Box

I've enjoyed the Laphroig & the Balvenie on previous occasions ... and look forward to trying the others, too.

My shelves are going to look wonderful!!

Jan 21, 2009, 8:24pm Top

I have Ikea bookshelves (Ivar series), the minimalist version. A friend who has the same setup (I copied from her) uses the usual L-shaped metal bookends, but it occurred to me that a heavy-duty gross-grained ribbon, such as that which you can get at a fabric store, tied very tightly about 1/3 up from a shelf, works quite well as a low-cost, decorative (you can pick the exact color you want) bookend.

Jan 22, 2009, 7:02am Top

My bookends are a large version of the king & queen from the Lewis chessmen.

You can see the queen with a (small) bookpile as my profile picture.

Jan 22, 2009, 2:10pm Top

Those are some VERY cool chess pieces. This is what I love about LT - I come across such interesting bits and pieces. Thanks antisyzygy!

Edited: Jan 23, 2009, 1:22pm Top

>85 antisyzygy:
My chess set is a reproduction of pieces from the Lewis chessmen. It would be great to add a bookend like this to my library. If you don't mind my asking, where did you find yours?


Jan 23, 2009, 4:35pm Top

When I had open ended bookshelves (the ikea Ivar, like 84), I just stuck wood dowels in the holes at the ends to keep the books from falling off. Since then, I've had no need for bookends. My shelves are triple stacked just to fit our collection.

Jan 23, 2009, 6:24pm Top

> 87
I think I got mine from Past Times , but that was maybe 10 years ago. Quick google search and I found them here in the States, and I'm sure there will be others.

Feb 23, 2009, 7:41pm Top

I have the repro Lewes Island chessmen too - my sister and I collected one side each over many years, until we had a complete set.

I use the metal L-shaped bookends on some open-ended wall hung shelving, to max out the capacity, but the other shelves are all too full for bookends. I have one set which is three little drawers on each bookend, on top of a bookcase, but while it's useful to put things in, it takes up an ungodly amount of real estate. A set of verdigris fleur-de-lis bookends (a birthday gift) is not in use, because I have no place to put them.

Jul 4, 2009, 5:13pm Top

My brother, when he was younger, collected a lot of random rocks. We put them in glass jars and used those as bookends. Shells, too.
We also have metal dog-shaped ones and a single bookend that I think resembles Big Ben. We always need heavy ones and bookends we find in antique stores are usually too expensive, however, so we frequently just stack books up on the sides of shelves. I prefer the L-shaped metal bookends; leaves more space available for books.

Jul 5, 2009, 9:32pm Top

I the only set of bookends I have are brass and shaped like starglobes. Like many in the thread I use them to display a few books in the study.

Jul 6, 2009, 10:34am Top

I have started using my pipe tobacco jars as bookends. They serve a dual purpose, and it looks nice too. Another place I find good, and inexpensive book ends from is ebay. I have a nice set of dragon heads I bought for $0.99 and paid around $5.00 s&h.

Jul 18, 2009, 7:25pm Top

I have mostly 2 bookends for my books. The only single is one from my better half's parents home. Made from plaster embossed with Old Ironsides, Look like a sailing ships and props up 3 of my Dad's high school text books from the 1930's next to my reading lamp. That way my favorite people are always close to me.

Sep 16, 2009, 7:04am Top

I have numerous bookends. I have to sets of Assyrian bookends, Bulsl and Lions. (From the Smithsonian Museum) I also have various university bookends from the schools I attended. As well I have some rock/mineral bookends. They occupy the top of bookcases where I put more books. They are also used on top of end tables or on top of various pieces of furniture around the house. Normally set of books are placed within the bookends. (e.g. Gibbons Decline and Fall)

Oct 6, 2009, 12:39am Top

I have some paving bricks that I upholstered -- the 6" square kind, two back-to-back for stability, wrapped in batting, and then in some pretty taupe/white cotton canvas raw edges carefully folded in and glued. Still narrowish, but heavy enough to hold their own. They make the tops of my bookshelves usable as shelf space.

Edited: Dec 11, 2009, 8:31am Top

warbrideslass - Thank you for sharing (in mesage #9) I never thought of it for bookends and the other uses you mentioned. My bookends like to "travel" so they do not get used much. I'll be picking up some of the rubbery mesh as soon as I get to the store. Can't wait to try it out:) I wish I saw this thread sooner.

Dec 11, 2009, 2:41pm Top

Never enough space for books so it's just a pipe dream but I've always wanted a fox bookends - one a head and one a tail.
Varielle 64 do you have a photo of your deco foxes ?

Edited: Dec 14, 2009, 10:24am Top

I will try to take one this weekend, but someone will have to coach me on how to post it.

Updated to add that I have a jpg pic now. Is there anyway to post it without opening an account at photobucket, etc.? I do have an account at shutterfly, but am not sure if I put it out there if I can get it to show up here. Can any of you sage folk advise?

Jul 7, 2010, 6:59pm Top

I never could figure out how to post the actual picture, but here's a link that will take you to it.

Jul 10, 2010, 2:32pm Top

What a great idea! I'll get my scissors out right away...

Jun 20, 2011, 1:32pm Top

I've had no luck with decorative bookends - ones I've bought, found, made, they all get pushed off by the weight of my books and get broken or wrecked. Finally, I settled on the commercial metal bookends, where part of the metal sticks out underneath that the books sit on. Simple and reliable, haven't had any trouble with these.

Jun 20, 2011, 1:56pm Top

We've always said that if you need bookends, you are doing it wrong!

I see we are not the only ones.

I do own a metal L-shaped one for my cookbooks because of where they are located. I have two Nancy Drew silhouette bookends which I bought because we collect ND books. I have two LotR bookends that came with DVDs. And because I love geodes someone once gave me two large blue cut geodes and I used to use them to hold books at the top of a display case. One day the books pushed the geode over and it fell on the desk below leaving a sizeable bit of damage to the desk I had recently refinished. They are used purely as decorative items and hold no weight now and those books are elsewhere in the house nowadays.

Jun 20, 2011, 2:06pm Top

My favorite bookends are actually my wife's. One end has Winnie-the-Pooh's butt sticking out of Rabbit's hole and the other end has Christopher Robin et.al. trying to pull Winnie's front end out of the hole. So of course the overall effect is that Winnie's body is inside all the books.

Edited: Jun 20, 2011, 2:50pm Top

I use a cast iron iron for some of our cookbooks. It is not going anywhere and looks like it belongs in the kitchen.

My wife has two sets of "Seckatary Hawkins" bookends. It was a YA series from the 1920's, there was comic strips, radio shows, and premiums you could win. The real claim to fame is that The Grey Ghost (http://www.librarything.com/series/Seckatary+Hawkins), book 4 in the series is mentioned in To Kill a Mockingbird

Jun 20, 2011, 3:39pm Top

106 TLCrawford : Do you participate in the Seckatary Hawkins email group?

To Kill a Mockingbird also mentions Tom Swift (our particular favorite). :)

-Kim (my husband James is in the Hawkins email list, I know)

Jun 20, 2011, 5:28pm Top

My wife is on the list, she was going to a fan convention a few weeks ago but got to busy to go. Tarzan, was my series of choice and Harper Lee also mentioned him.

Tarzan and Tom Swift are still fairly well known, only three people on LT have Seckatary Hawkins books.

Jun 20, 2011, 8:28pm Top

Then your wife may have seen James' posts. We did not go to the convention. I don't think we have the books. James is, however, a fan of boys' series books and a nonstop book researcher so he is on that list and writes to it.

Cool about your Seck and Tarzan interest. We have Bomba more than Tarzan, since it was a Stratemeyer Syndicate item and that is where James' main interest lies. We have three pieces of original art from Bomba books and some signed movie posters (star was Boy on Tarzan movies, of course).


Jun 20, 2011, 8:31pm Top

But back on topic to bookends---do any of you have a problem with putting things IN FRONT of books?

You see, I always decorated with a few items in front of books. James always had his books lined up with the front of the shelf. He's now allowed me to put some things on a few shelves.

I realized that on two shelves, the things I am decorating with are things that most people would probably use as bookends but we seldom have room for bookends so they don't get used that way.

Anyone else have this dilemma (does anything get to sit in front of the books)???

Jun 20, 2011, 9:26pm Top

Things get to sit in front of my books... otherwise they'd never get seen!! every shelf is dedicated to books.... if it can fit books, it has books!!

Jun 21, 2011, 1:56am Top

Putting things in front of books would imply that there is room left on the shelf after the books are stacked in the most efficient manner possible. I have a problem with space, so I generally try to cram as much in as possible. lol

Jun 21, 2011, 2:14am Top

I don't have things in front of books but sometimes I have things on top of books. More books! Oh, and the occasional dust jacket. I remove them when I read.

Edited: Jan 9, 2013, 1:37pm Top

does anything get to sit in front of the books?


The two knobbly brown things are molded burwood bookends, which would not be strong enough to hold the serious load. The grey guy at the bottom is one of my favorites, but he, too, lacks the muscles to do the job. A result of all that sitting and reading, I'm sure. But he is always welcome in my house.

The rest of the kitsch is just stuff that amuses me. On the top shelf is an old prop plane toy with folding wings.

And the books are some of my favorites, too - one shelf is devoted almost entirely to Louisa May Alcott.

Edited: Jan 9, 2013, 1:47pm Top

I checked out the Pooh and Christopher Robin set - VERY CUTE!

Lets post pictures of the bookends. I edited from above, so they're a bit grainy, but here they are


Jun 21, 2011, 8:09am Top

No, I am almost compulsive about my books lining up neatly with the edge of the shelf.

Jun 21, 2011, 9:44am Top

We also have an interesting pair of bookends which feature original printing plates from Tom Swift and His Diving Seacopter. One of them can be seen in this photo:


Jun 21, 2011, 1:34pm Top

I have things in front of my books, but I hate having to move things to get to the books.

Jun 21, 2011, 1:43pm Top

I hate dust and I hate dusting around objects so I make sure there is nothing in front of my books to prevent me from just doing a clean easy sweep. No knic knacs in my house!

Jun 21, 2011, 1:54pm Top

Dusting . . . I've heard of this mystic art . . .

Jun 21, 2011, 2:04pm Top

I, too, have heard that some people have to perform this 'Rite of Dusting'. I find that dust just appears by itself.

A couple of times a year I may make some ritual 'passes' in order to de-dust.

Edited: Jun 21, 2011, 2:07pm Top

Erma Bombeck said there was no point in dusting, as dust would only get so thick and no thicker.

I have dedicated my life to proving her point.

Jun 21, 2011, 2:18pm Top

If you move your books enough, then dust will not appear.

So, if you have dust, you aren't reading enough.

Jun 21, 2011, 2:27pm Top

No matter how much you move around there will always be dust! But if you dust more frequently it gets easier to dust. Whenever I change my bedsheets I use those to do a quick dusting around the house. Takes 10 minutes and poof! Done! No more dust!

Ah... so refreshingly clean! :)

Jun 21, 2011, 3:21pm Top

I consider dust to be nature's protective cover.

Jun 22, 2011, 7:26am Top

I was going through a shelf of books to make sure they were all in my library (they weren't, whoops) and there was a bug! Usually I'm squeamish about squishing bugs, but not when they're infesting my books, apparently.

Edited: Jan 9, 2013, 1:34pm Top

Got a small herd of bully elephants

Jun 28, 2012, 7:05pm Top

A few of mine can be seen in my Member's Gallery, here (mixed with other unrelated photo.


Edited: Jan 9, 2013, 1:35pm Top

We brought back an interesting chunk of rock from the ridgetop rock formations in Kentucky. It wasn't till later, we noticed an organic similarity to the bookend in >115 2wonderY:.

Here they are, side by side:

Jul 5, 2012, 5:35pm Top

Okay, figured out how to display directly from my member's gallery:

Leaning nude (one of a pair)

glass block bookend (I have dozens of these, this size and half-height; please ignore the dust)

Ichabod crane (one of a pair)

Leaning man and pushing man (each is one of a pair)


Jul 5, 2012, 5:53pm Top

The dust is what makes it all look natural. Or, maybe that's just because I'm so used to seeing dusty book shelves at my house.

I don't care what anybody says, if I dust them it makes Tiger Lilly sneeze, and I can't have my cat sneezing, now can I?

Jul 6, 2012, 7:38am Top


You have very pretty books! I'm trying not to drool over that Stevenson set. Don't want to leave tracks in the dust, y'know.

Edited: Oct 15, 2012, 2:06pm Top

A pair of bookends I made as a wedding present for @MonkeyRobo :

Oct 15, 2012, 11:17pm Top

mart1n - Those are spectacular!

Oct 16, 2012, 10:12pm Top


Jan 29, 2013, 9:26am Top

There's a shared board on Pinterest which has collected 725 pins of bookends;



Feb 5, 2013, 12:23am Top

Thanks for posting that, 2wonderY - some very creative bookends there!

Feb 10, 2013, 3:41pm Top

That was fun tolook at-gave me some ideas for bookends I can make!

Mar 17, 2013, 9:16pm Top

Ive enjoyed these for a few years:

And recently picked these up at a local flea market (I think they're known as Mourning Lady bookends):

I'm torn between leaving them as they are, painting them, or having them re-plated.

Edited: Mar 24, 2013, 5:14pm Top

>139 TrippB:

Very nice! These look like they might have served as the inspiration for one of my 'deco' style pairs: http://www.librarything.com/pic/219648

I'd leave yours as they are, myself, unless you know that they're not likely to be valuable in their original condition, and as long as they'll be protected from any further oxidation.


Edited for typos

Mar 21, 2013, 10:43am Top

Nice! What's the name of the publisher on that Poe collection? I can't quite make it out on the spines.

Mar 21, 2013, 6:56pm Top

The Poe series is the 1884 Illustrated Sterling Editions, by Dana Estes & Company.

Mar 22, 2013, 10:16am Top

Thanks for the information. Looks like a very nice set.


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