Book storage, and a giveaway!

I’ve been talking a lot about books lately, and not just because I sell them for a living, but because my vast collection almost killed me recently. Let me explain. We’ve been discussing having built-in bookshelves built in my living room since we moved into our house five years ago. We are finally ready to embark upon the project which also entails a somewhat extensive fireplace renovation so it’s not an entirely straightforward job. I was recently interviewing a contractor and when he walked into my home office, he looked at the bookshelves I have built-in above my desk (which I had a company install when we moved in) and told me that they were about to collapse, full of hundreds of copies of books I’ve represented over the years. I hate to think what might have happened if those shelves collapsed while I was working at my desk, as I do so much of the time, but it would not have been good! Here is a picture of what one of the brackets looked like which were barely holding the shelves in place:

So, I’ve been doing a lot of research on book storage, bookshelves and the like and I’m wondering if any of our readers can share pictures of their own book storage solutions, either at home or online if you have an aspirational shelving unit in mind. I’m thinking about fun, contemporary concepts rather than straightforward wood shelves, although we’re considering that too. Metal, distressed wood, or a combination of the two are ideas I’m considering. Meantime, I have my books displayed on our piano, which I kind of like and will probably keep newer titles there even after we get the shelves built. See pic below:

Please let me know how you like to store your books at home. As added incentive, I will offer a free book to add to your shelf, and pick the winner at random on March 25th. Thanks for your input and good luck!

13 Responses to Book storage, and a giveaway!

  1. Susan B. says:

    Stacey, we bought Billy bookshelves from Ikea in a dark brown color (seven of them, the tall versions), and had a contractor bolt them at top and bottom to our concrete wall of our rec room in the basement. They’re seismically safe but we can un-bolt them carefully if we ever want to move the library to another room, or change things around. They look beautiful arranged closely together filling the wall (about 20-25 feet long) and look like built-ins rather than inexpensive shelves they are.

    I’m so glad you got a warning and that shelving didn’t collapse! I can imagine that so easily. We found out when we got a new roof that our 65-year-old chimney had cracked at the roofline some time ago, and was basically sitting there untethered. I could not get that thing replaced fast enough – one good windstorm and hundreds of pounds of old bricks would have come crashing down. Shudder.

  2. D. C. DaCosta says:

    My books are stored in inexpensive, DIY bookcases from Big Lots. The small cases line the halls on two floors. Only problem has been that with this level of quality, the weight of the books eventually makes the shelves bend.My house is 160 years and nothing is plumb, especially the floors. I can\\’t use cases taller than 30 inches lest they fall over; can\\’t bolt \\’em to the walls because we still have plaster, not wallboard.My kids just stack their books in the corners of their rooms.

  3. Two bookcases from Office Max and my kindle. :-)

  4. Wehaf says:

    I have solid wood shelves that I bought second-hand. Boring, but very sturdy and reliable.

  5. In my home that DH got in the divorce, my son and I gutted it and rebuilt it. I converted one of the large bedrooms into an office and the walk in closet I lined with horseshoe shelves for supplies and reference books. I made built in bookcases for the office out of pine boards stained to match the wainscoting. Since I’d built all the cabinets in the house, they were like furniture, not just shelves and anchored.

    Nice bookcases are more expensive, but worth it. Now I have cheap particle board ones and metal shelves. Hastings was redoing one of their stores and threw away runners and heavy duty metal shelves that I rescued.

  6. Stacey says:

    Thanks to all of you who shared your book storage stories. Please post pictures! Or feel free to send them to me by email at sglick@dystel.com. Will keep you posted on the giveaway later this week!

  7. Fiz says:

    I have my books stored in boxed…the wood of my bookcase had worms so I got rid of it >.< Have to go shopping for a new one soon.

  8. Billy Bookcases – Ikea, anchored to the wall because when my girls were younger they thought bookcases were jungle gyms.
    Glad nobody got hurt at your place! Please be more careful! I need my rock star agent to be around to sell more of my books. Not to mention, I really like you!
    (You can exclude me from the giveaway, just wanted to say hello. Thanks! : )

  9. Jenna Oh says:

    I keep my books on the floor and all around our house. I have them everywhere :)

  10. Carolsue says:

    We have about five bookscases around the house and they are all full. The books that don’t fit into the bookcase are on the floor or wherever I can find a spot for! Why do I keep getting more??? LOL.

  11. Lynn says:

    I had to partially build my bookcase because of my 9 ft. ceiling. The bottom part is a regular store bought bookcase and the upper part is an added addition to reach the ceiling. I definitely need a rolling ladder.

    (Btw, your captcha has become even more difficult.)

  12. Stacey says:

    Thanks to all of you who posted, and a special thanks to my clients, Susan Beal and Kristi Belcamino! The book winner is…Lynn! I will touch base to get your address and send out a book next week. Happy shelving and book collecting!

  13. Ellie says:

    We have two bookshelves from Ikea! And a DIY smaller one. Greetings, Storage Downe Ltd.

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