How to Choose Bookstore Shelving

Zeeba BooksWe had a question sent in by one of our newer readers concerning the decision making process when it comes to Bookstore Shelving.  She’s writing from Ireland so bear that in mind when answering and I hope that you will take a moment to share your experiences with Janet and any other folks that may be struggling with this question.

Here is Janet’s full question:

I am a bookshop owner in Co. Wicklow in Ireland and after 4 years of trading
I am planning to move to a larger premises and incorporate a coffee corner.
Found your site when googling about bookshop shelving. How can I get help on
what choice to make when planning new shelving? Thanks in advance

I can offer two suggestions, at least for American readers.  Sorry this may not be helpful to you Janet but let’s see what our readers have to offer..

First, we have a brand new sponsor that just joined us today. Fall Mountain Furniture sells high end bookstore shelving. If I had any kind of budget when opening my bookstore back in 2004 I would have certainly considered them. As it was we completely bootstrapped our startup and chose shelving on a compromise between cost and appearance. It turned out that we were quite happy with our selection of bookstore shelving and wrote about it here.

If you could take a moment and share any thoughts (via a comment below)  on this it would be appreciated.

4 thoughts on “How to Choose Bookstore Shelving”

  1. I visisted hundreds of UBS’s to get ideas for shelving and I ended up using the same shelving that Half Price Books uses which can be found here:

    My husband built the shelving units and it was SO easy. For a double unit you need 3 (1X8X10) for the sides, 2 (1x8x6) for the top and bottom and 2 (1x8x10) boards for the shelves. Total cost for use for each unit was $50.00. Three units form a cubby hole. My units are 5 FT wide and 7 foot tsll. You just drill holes in the side boards and insert pegs in them to hold the shelves up.

    By making the shelves yourself you can get exactly what you want and not have any dead space.

    Good Luck!

  2. Another thing to consider is how many of your bookcases will be anchored vs freestanding. Ones that are anchored to the wall don’t need as large a footprint to keep them stable. Freestanding book cases need to be anchored to the floor or have a wider footprint to make sure they’re safe vs tipping.

    In one section we stuck the cases on casters and installed a hook in the floor so we can move them out of the way every now and then when we need space. If you’re planning on having events, you may want to look into this trick so you can move a row of cases back to open up the space temporarily. You can built you own platform for the casters, but keep in mind you’ll need industrial grade casters to cope with the weight!

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