I love our bookshelf. And yes, I know that’s silly because bookshelves are (at the end of the day) shelves. For storing books. I freely acknowledge that fact and it was delighted to place my Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, Isaac Asimov, Mark Twain, Hamilton, Tolkien and many others on these burnished, real wood shelves. I also like that it has a concealed storage. That’s where my husband put his oversized art books and I put my less-attractive paperbacks. But let’s face it, a bookshelf is not just a shelf. It is also a piece of furniture.
It was a piece of furniture that amazon delivered very, very carefully. They let me schedule delivery date and time. On the big day, it came in a big undamaged cardboard carton. Two delivery men brought it through the front door and photographed it, probably for their records.
The bookshelf was snug and well-protected inside. The inside edges were bolstered with heavy-duty hardened angle iron type card lengths and the corners were reinforced with doubled-up plastic and foam inserts. The sides were padded with one-inch thick heavy-duty bubble wrap.
It was relatively easy for my husband and I to unpack. The lid came off easily when we turned the carton on its side and slid the bookshelf out. We could do that because the bookshelf is made of solid wood and, as a result, is lighter than shelves made of particle board. We found that we could slide the bookshelf on its heavy duty bubble wrap packing because the bubbles are sturdy enough to hold over 200 pounds.
I should add that although the amazon description says it’s pre-assembled, you will need to a #2 Phillips screwdriver to finish the job. You’ll need to unscrew the metal brackets that hold the shelving pieces in place so it can be easily transported without damaging them and you’ll need to properly attach the door-knobs. To make sure the door knobs survive the trip, they were mounted backwards with the knobs inside the cabinet. You can still open the cabinet door because they attached a string, but you will need to take about two minutes to reverse the knobs. That done, you can enjoy your beautiful bookshelf.
In our case—because of the way our house is laid out—the bookshelf is virtually the first thing people see when they walk in. So what it looks like matters. Which is why I really appreciate the Neoclassical fluting modeling that gives it that slightly Grecian look and the ornamental Romanesque dentil molding at the top. I know it takes a lot of attention to detail to put these beautiful finishing touches and appreciate the fact that they were done by hand. My bookshelf is not quite like anyone else’s. And it’s beautiful.
I also love that the large shelf in the front gives me a place to display the little treasures we’ve accumulated over the years. They’re a bit random. There is the porcelain figurine that reminds me a bit of one of the Three Musketeers that my husband’s Mom sent him from England. There are the pug figurines and the pug wooden old-fashioned calendar our local veterinarian gave us. There is the cup my former boss and mentor brought back from his trip to the Grand Canyon. The cup is inscribed with “I am not opinionated, I’m just always right.” Obviously.
Displaying these odds and ends de-clutters our house and helps create a bright space to relax in. I come home and the first thing I see are things that make me happy and that’s wonderful, especially after a long day. And then, after I do a bit more work (I keep this blog and freelance on occasion), I have a little place to get away from it all in our own home. It’s not a library—we are thinking of adding a room one day and making one of our rooms into a library—but it’s a little corner in the house that, thanks to this bookshelf, is beginning to resemble one. It’s a place to relax, to play with puppies, to read a book. It may be a coincidence but I noticed I started spending a lot more time in the living room after we put the bookshelf there and filled it with books.
Product Name: Martin Furniture Huntington Oxford Library Bookcase With Lower Doors