Need a good bookshelf for DS's room! - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-22-2008, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am in the market for a good bookshelf for my 2.5 year old's room. He has a lot of books and likes to read a lot. I want to have them in a place he can get them and see them. I want a book shelf that is not too bulky (only needs to hold maybe 40-50 children's books). I would like to find something that doesn't have particle board or other off-gassing materials and that is either unfinished or has an eco-friendly and healthy finish. So many wood products stink from all the chemicals, varnishes and formaldehyde, etc. Any suggestions would be very appreciated!!!!
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:19 PM
 
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have you heard about or read about the ''rain gutter'' bookshelves? google them...they look pretty cool! also don't cost much

me, dh and 2 boys = our family (oh and a cat...who is also a male...lol)
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:15 AM
 
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if you want to buy new, try an unpainted/amish furniture store or a local carpenter. an amateur carpenter would be great - just post it on craigslist. a lot of people make furniture as a hobby.

if you don't mind buying used, just check thrift stores for a few weeks until you find something. give it a fresh coat of no-voc paint and you're good.
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:32 AM
 
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I have been stalking my local craigstlist looking for the same thing.
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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An idea I mentioned on another thread...you could try unfinished wooden crates from the craft store. They don't cost much, don't take much space, smell like plain wood (until they get old, and then smell like nothing), and can be used for other things when outgrown as a bookshelf (or if you decide they just aren't what you want). They won't topple on anyone (unless you stack them), and you can finish them or not. We have 8, tied together in sets of four with strong ribbons (two crates high by two wide), for some of my big kids' books. For only 40 or 50 books, you could probably manage with two.

When mine were that age, though, we used baskets, with the books stood like index cards so it was easy to see the covers when flipping through. I wanted a set of display shelves like we had in my Montessori classroom when I was a kid, but we had neither the space nor the money.
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Old 07-23-2008, 06:50 PM
 
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I want one like this or this. Or you could DIY one like this.

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Old 07-24-2008, 01:04 AM
 
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We have lots of books here too! Most of them are in unfinished crates, which have 2 or 3 cubes together. http://www.millstores.com/display.cc...dex,cat3C.html We have the doubles and triples, laying down. When ds was younger ( and shorter, we flipped them frontwards so the books stood up and could be flipped through. Our library puts kids books that way and its great. We now have a shelf facing out so you can see the spines, then another cube set on top the flip through way. We just kept getting more cubes as we needed them, and I figure they can be used for other things later. We also have gutter shelves in a small corner in ds's room. They don't hold much but use an otherwise wasted corner. If you do the gutters be sure to get end caps, as the cut gutters are sharp.
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Old 07-24-2008, 01:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lberk View Post
We have lots of books here too! Most of them are in unfinished crates, which have 2 or 3 cubes together. http://www.millstores.com/display.cc...dex,cat3C.html We have the doubles and triples, laying down. When ds was younger ( and shorter, we flipped them frontwards so the books stood up and could be flipped through. Our library puts kids books that way and its great. We now have a shelf facing out so you can see the spines, then another cube set on top the flip through way. We just kept getting more cubes as we needed them, and I figure they can be used for other things later. We also have gutter shelves in a small corner in ds's room. They don't hold much but use an otherwise wasted corner. If you do the gutters be sure to get end caps, as the cut gutters are sharp.
We use the wooden cubes too - got mine with a 50% off coupon at ACMoore. I have a 2 length and a 3 length, both lying on their side. If I face the openings forward, I can put the dish bins in and line the books up facing forwards in there and be able to pull the bins in and out, or I can use the cubes like bookshelves and line books up traditionally in them. If I have the openings of the cubes facing up and line the books up in them, it works for a while and then the kids like to pull all the books out and climb in and pretend they're driving a car.
My biggest gripe with this system has been that the books end up just lying flat in the binsbecause if too many get pulled out, the others slide down flat, if you see what I mean, and then they all end up flat. Even in the dish bins this happens. And it always happens with the traditional bookcase setup of the cubes. What I want to try, is building something to make each cube have a couple slots so the books don't slide down when they're lined up in it. Kind of like, permanent unmoveable bookends or something, but rounded edges so no sharp corners. Still working on it...
Oh, if you do the cubes, consider either finishing them or getting good quality wood - ours have splintered off a little, which is sometimes worrying.

ETA - the facing out solutions are very cool - never thought of the gutters! - but unfortunately wouldn't work for us. We have WAAAY too many books, we'd have to line every wall in the house with facing-out shelves to make that work!!
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Old 07-24-2008, 02:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by EljayMom View Post
An idea I mentioned on another thread...you could try unfinished wooden crates from the craft store. They don't cost much, don't take much space, smell like plain wood (until they get old, and then smell like nothing), and can be used for other things when outgrown as a bookshelf (or if you decide they just aren't what you want). They won't topple on anyone (unless you stack them), and you can finish them or not. We have 8, tied together in sets of four with strong ribbons (two crates high by two wide), for some of my big kids' books. For only 40 or 50 books, you could probably manage with two.

When mine were that age, though, we used baskets, with the books stood like index cards so it was easy to see the covers when flipping through. I wanted a set of display shelves like we had in my Montessori classroom when I was a kid, but we had neither the space nor the money.
Do you have pics?? PLease!

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Old 07-24-2008, 04:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by delly View Post
What I want to try, is building something to make each cube have a couple slots so the books don't slide down when they're lined up in it. Kind of like, permanent unmoveable bookends or something, but rounded edges so no sharp corners. Still working on it...

If I understand you correctly, woudl it work to glue/nail in a piece (or more, depending on your cub/book size) of trim on the bottom so the books have a bit of a place to rest before sliding all the way down? Or maybe that woudl take up too much room in the cube?

We use baskets on shelves or in cubes, with the books face-out so you can easily flip through them. The baskets are nice and portable and are lovely when you are rearranging the room / play area.
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Old 07-24-2008, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by EljayMom View Post

When mine were that age, though, we used baskets, with the books stood like index cards so it was easy to see the covers when flipping through. I wanted a set of display shelves like we had in my Montessori classroom when I was a kid, but we had neither the space nor the money.

That's exactly what I am using now. I have 2 wicker baskets that are lined with fabric and I have a lot of books in there so they are on the ground and he can see them and look through them to pick what he wants. Problem is that he has too many books to fit in them so I have to store some of the books in the closet and then rotate them. The other day he said "mom I'm frustrated when I can't find the book I want." So I think he's ready to have them all on display. I guess I could just get more baskets but then they take up a lot of floor space..
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Old 07-24-2008, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by lberk View Post
We have lots of books here too! Most of them are in unfinished crates, which have 2 or 3 cubes together. http://www.millstores.com/display.cc...dex,cat3C.html We have the doubles and triples, laying down. When ds was younger ( and shorter, we flipped them frontwards so the books stood up and could be flipped through. Our library puts kids books that way and its great. We now have a shelf facing out so you can see the spines, then another cube set on top the flip through way. We just kept getting more cubes as we needed them, and I figure they can be used for other things later. We also have gutter shelves in a small corner in ds's room. They don't hold much but use an otherwise wasted corner. If you do the gutters be sure to get end caps, as the cut gutters are sharp.
I really like those cubes! That's a good idea and I think I might try that. I like that I can just get a couple and then add to it. Can they be tipped over easily though?
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