Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bookcases

Wow, how lame is this? Posting about bookcases after Rhian's presentation of actual content.

But it's on my mind, because we're moving, starting next week. And most of the bookcases in our house are built-ins that I made over the years...a neat triangular one under the staircase, one that covers an entire wall of the bedroom, and a kind of CD case slash stereo table in the living room corner...and those will not be coming with us. So now we need bookcases.

There's the old cinderblocks-and-planks thing, which I thought was super cool for about five minutes when I was in graduate school...I had never had bookshelves like that before, having been too tidy and uptight as an undergraduate, at which time I had some laminated pressboard thingers my mom bought me; so those shelves had a certain frisson, a gesture toward a charming, shaggy intellectualism that I never really got around to actually embodying. In Missoula, when we were first married, I had a couple of cases I hammered together out of number 2 pine, and we still have those today--they will probably go into our office, where they will occupy the corner of the room and be painted white. (One of the two presently suffers from a hideous oaken stain that looks more or less like somebody soaked it in orange juice for three weeks.) And in my office at school there are these terrific industrial-strength wall brackets covering two walls, and bearing pretty decent stained boards--but that look is a little too institutional for home.

I have never been into those glass-fronted dealies. They are a bit too fetishy for my taste (although I didn't enjoy blowing the dust off of all my old books, either, as I was packing them today). Rhian's got her eye on one at the antique store...but even if it was worth the money, what would we honor with placement there? Our own books? Lord help us. Rare volumes? Not many of those in our place. I don't think old science fiction paperbacks would really look quite right there...though, if we bought the thing, that's what I would want to put in it.

I could do built-in shelves in the new place, but we don't have the time--I don't know if we can stand living with cardboard boxes everywhere for much longer. So I think it'll be readymade cases from the Unfinished Furniture Store, which we'll paint. A good solution, but maybe not the best one.

Unless you, readers, know a source for good, cheap, attractive, painted bookcases...?

9 comments:

Matthew Tiffany said...

Do you have any Mill Stores near you?

http://www.millstores.com/

jrlennon said...

No, but the place I mentioned in the post looks to be pretty similar. The variety of furniture styles is kind of thin, but there's probably going to be something very usable there...

rmellis said...

You know, JR, on second thought, I'm thinking staining them will actually look better...

wing said...

I hate to say it, but Ikea isn't too bad when it comes to bookcases.

Or, you could always just get rid of all your books. This is the future! What good are they now?

jrlennon said...

Hey yeah wing, I'll just rip 'em all to itunes!

5 Red Pandas said...

I'm sure there is a way to build bookshelves out of books.

McQ said...

We bought ours at the UFS and then stained them. They're functional and fairly attractive - come on over if you want to check 'em out more thoroughly without going all the way back down to the store. We bought/stained some dressers plus our lovely lateral file cabinet there as well.

And if we do end up moving to Wales, we may well be looking for a new home for all of them...

wing said...

5 red's idea is by far the best. Of course, it could get dangerous whenever you want to pull a book out from the bottom, but that's half of the fun.

Anonymous said...

When my husband and I moved into our house I turned the main bedroom into a den because the closets already had handmade shelves in them to hold our books. After taking off the bi-fold doors and painting the wall between the shelves the same colour as the room and the shelves white, it suits us fine, and they're not taking up otherwise needed area. The spacing between the shelves could be closer but we just layer the rows on top of each other.
—T.