Pet Peeves: Spines in

Ranting & raving is something I do periodically on this blog. Look for the “rants and raves” category for past rants and raves.

This has been a peeve for a couple of years. I think that’s how long it’s been since I started noticing  bookshelves in certain furniture catalogs with the books shelved spine in. There is uniformity and the furniture can stand out.  This makes sense when you want a consumer’s attention to be on the furniture, not to be distracted by what’s on it, but this trend in decorating is annoying otherwise:

  • Unless you know all your books and where they go by heart, or you are going to have a hell of a time finding a book.
  • There is no way a guest could come in and discover a book.  No way to have a conversation about a book on those shelves.
  • It implies that a books function is as a design element rather than to be, you know, actually read.

Images are from Apartment Therapy. I am pleased to see from the comments that I am not alone in my dislike of the spine in thing.

A trend in the same vein, (but at least you can label the books in this case) is wrapping books in covers to display them:

Hutch/Bookshelf review and giveaway from CSN Stores

This is what our bookshelves in the office look like. It holds all our read books (my TBRs are in the living room and under my bed). Yes, it is like an explosion. If you click it a supremely HUGE version of this picture is viewable for the curious.  Sorry about the bike.

For a while we’d been talking about putting in a shelf to go over the office desk.  When CSN Stores offered me a chance to review furniture, I decided to try a bookshelf because it was book-related and it would be a nice excuse to post pictures of books as well as finally get that shelf we’ve been talking about for probably a year now.

CSN gave me $60 towards the bookshelf, and I spent another ~$40 0n top of that to get the shelf we liked which was $99 (shipping was free on that item).  By the way, CSN Stores has over 200 websites for all kinds of furniture, not just bookshelves.  I’m going to be doing a giveaway for $65 (U.S. and Canada only this time, sorry) for their stores. Check the end of this post for details. You can buy anything from a modern chair, to a dog bed, to a briefcase! I like their modern cat furniture, except I’m pretty sure my cat will still go for our couches.

The bookshelf we decided to buy was the Belcarra Contemporary Hutch/Bookshelf in expresso.

It came in a long box about a week (probably 4 business days) after I placed the order, but it took us a couple of weeks to get to putting it together because we kept having to go somewhere during our weekends.

1. When we finally started to set it up, the cat promptly sat his ass on it.

2. When we opened the box, the cat explored it.

3. His highness, Prince Nosy-Bum inspected it from every angle.

4. “Helping” unpack.

I didn’t notice any chips in the laminate. It was packed pretty well. Eventually I think there was one nick that we colored in with a brown pen that came with the screws and other parts. I’m not sure if that was already there or we did it putting the shelf together.

5. Cats have no need for instructions. They sit on your instructions.

The instruction sheet that came with the shelf was a little brief on detail. It was a legal sheet length of paper with both sides covered in steps in both English and French, but you had to pay attention to not only the steps but the pictures too. And read between the lines. For instance the first step is  to “attach the top and bottom to center gables and sides using  Confirmat screws”. Well, you needed to notice in the picture that at the back of each center gable will be screwed into the rear stabilizer, and that there is a hole on the back of each gable for that. But only on one side. So it is easy to put them in upside down and then you have to take the whole thing apart and put it back together right. Which I did.

6. Almost done with step 1.

I swear I didn’t keep putting the cat on the shelf and box. He really is that nosy/annoying.

7. While I was putting the shelf together, The Mister looked for studs and made sure things were level.

8. Wall Stabilizer mounted on the wall. Computer screens protected from dust by cut up grocery bags.

9. The Hutch fits on top of the Wall Stabilizer.

We had a bit of trouble putting the hutch onto the wall stabilizer. It needed two people because it’s long and heavy, and at one point it kind of slipped, which was scary because we’re doing this over a desk full of flat screens (all not mine by the way, in case you were thinking to be jealous of me. Nope. Using a tiny little netbook at the moment). Although the instructions say when you mount the wall stabilizer, “position screws so that they do not line up with the hutch gables”, somehow the Mister managed to line up one screw with the hutch gable which meant the hutch did not fit QUITE right. The measurements on this thing are EXACT. EXACTTT. Which is good unless this sort of thing happens and then the hutch doesn’t fit into the wall stabilizer. The Mister said that he measured and thought he was good but turned out he was not. In the future it would be helpful if the wall stabilizer had lines where the gables would be so you DIDN’T put the screw there.

The finished product. One half of the shelf is mine, other half is The Mister’s. Guess which (click for humongous).

I decided to use the shelf for my favorite author’s with last names beginning with A. Yes, I know it looks rather sad right now, but think of the possibilities. Lots of room for more books no?

Giveaway Details:

It’s the usual, but this time since this is $65 bucks, which is nice, you get more points for being a follower (subscribed to RSS/friend on LJ):

1. Email janicu[at]gmail[dot]com with the subject CSN GIVEAWAY, and with

“please enter me” or something like that, and that should be it. Counts as one entry. But if you are a follower, please let me know, you get an extra entry.

2. One email per person please.
3. This giveaway is US and Canada only. Sorry, usually I do international giveaways but CSN only ships to North America.
4. This contest ends midnight EST September 10th.

Winner gets a $65 dollar gift certificate from CSN stores which will be emailed to them.

ETA – photobucket  resized the “humongous” picture to merely “big”. I reuploaded them but leaving the “big” size for people with slower connections. This is the old bookshelf (explosion), and this is the new bookshelf in “humongous” size.

Also, I’ve had questions about followers for the giveaway. I meant subscribed to my RSS feed. On wordpress you can do that here, and on livejournal you can do that here. These two blogging platforms just don’t allow javascript which the Google Friend Connect widget uses. I know that caused some confusion looking for it.

Following on twitter doesn’t count, sorry.

Abandoned Russian Library

Quick post. I saw this online and thought it was cool, though a bit sad. Makes me want to dive in! More pictures here and in my vox pictures. According to a comment on that site this is "some kind of technical library situated near old abandoned factory. Those are mostly technical reference books and some communism theory."

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Book cuteness

I saw this post from mypapercrane today and had to share. Cute idea – I wouldn't mind doing this to the art books that need to be protected from my sister who borrows them and doesn't return them for months.




And here is an older post I saved from apartment therapy. Another whimsical idea which looks quite easy to replicate on your own (the website that sells these is all in japanese so I have no clue how to buy them).

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The Amazing Staircase

Via Apartment Therapy - I saw this staircase the other day and was left in utter awe. The only problem is that I might trip from distraction going up and down these stairs and break my neck. The post about this and more about what the architects said about this project is here. Another staircase bookshelf is here, and combining a staircase with drawers is here.



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