Gwnewch y pethau bychain

Just some pine and some oak and a handful of Norsemen…

Having gotten our paperbacks out of their long period of bondage and onto shelves, our attention turned to….the remaining boxes of books, most of which were either hardbacks or oversize paperbacks.  Now, I could have built another set of shelving to house these, but you can buy shelving units designed for large books pretty easily.  On the other hand, I didn’t want to spend a massive amount of money.  And you know what that means….Ikea!

Now, I’ve heard people from more metropolitan and urbane cities sing the praises of Ikea for years.  And I’ve heard Jonathan Coulton sing about it too….but that’s another show.[1]  But my one trip to the land of flatpacks and meatballs was a frustrating and generally unhappy experience, because they’d only opened the giant store in Atlanta a few weeks prior and the novelty hadn’t warn off.  It took us 45 minutes just to park, and by the time I got inside I was already tired and cranky.  As a result, I’d never bothered to go back.

However, having the entire day off by virtue of Larissa’s oral surgery, I figured it was a good time to make a quick run over to get the shelves I had found on their website that looked just right.  It *was* a much more pleasant experience.  I had printed out the page with the item I wanted, asked the first employee I saw where to find it, and got directed straight to it.  Once there, another employee (who was absolutely gorgeous, apropos of nothing) explained to me how to locate the one I could take home downstairs, and off I went.  pulled the heavy boxes onto a cart, took them to the register, and out again.

One of the corollaries to Murphy’s Law is “If everything appears to be going well, you are obviously overlooking something.”[2]  Sure enough, when I got to my car, I found that the boxes did NOT fit neatly.  I had accounted for the length of the box, but not the angle at which it would need to slide through.   Argh.  Luckily, a nice gentleman helped me navigate two of the boxes into the car, leaving the third sticking a foot out the back.  I then carefully drove over to the loading area, where free twine was available to tie the trunk down and secure the box so it wouldn’t slide backwards under any circumstance.  Those crafty Swedes, they think of everything.

Having gotten the shelves home, i took them out of the car and set them aside, as I had other things to do.  So today, I pulled them out of the box and began assembly.  Pretty much everything I’d ever heard about Ikea is true — the stuff assembles easily and has very detailed instructions that are simple to follow.  We only ran into trouble getting the final piece fitted in, as it required lining up a great many pegs to holes, and it wanted to be difficult.  But after much sweating and swearing, two meltdowns and one brief marital spat, everything was connected and screwed down and we set it against the wall and affixed it there.

Of course, rather than sit and bask in the accomplishment, I started putting books on the shelves.   Guess which I ran out of first?

kitanzi has an LJ icon that reads “If you have enough shelf space for your books, you don’t have enough books.”  We have enough books, but a few boxes still.  I think I’m going to pull all the non-fiction off these shelves and make room for the fiction, and then we’ll figure out where to but the *next* set of shelves which might finally complete the unpacking.

The mirror makes a nice illusion of their being quite a few more books than there really are:

And from the front:

And, for those of you who like to play the “What’s on Rob and Larissa’s Bookshelf” home game, here’s a link to the hi-res version of that photo.

It’s nice to see my books again.  I’ve been missing them.

[1] We’ve been watching a lot of Alton Brown lately.  It’s infectious.
[2] One day I’ll get this translated into Latin for use on a crest.




Out of Context Quote of the Evening


  1. You forgot the blood -- blood, sweat and tears. (How’s your heel?)

  2. On 2 -- Si omnia videmur ferri bene, manifesto praetermittis aliquid.

  3. This is all very good to know. I’ve always wanted to go to Ikea but never lived near enough to one for it to work out. But one is finally opening near to me this spring. I have crowd issues sometimes so I might visit later rather than sooner in order to have a better experience.

    A few question for you:
    -- Did you secure those to the wall? And if so how did it go? Are they sturdy? I’m leaning towards the “Billy” ones since they don’t seem to need securing and they are affordable and look like they’ll hold alot, but your’s look really nice too!

    • Most of the IKEA bookcases (I have a couple of Billy, and the matching forget-what-silly-Swedish-name CD ‘bookcases’) come with a security strap, which you screw to the top of the bookcase and then to the wall. Sometimes it’s literally a strap, sometimes it’s a shaped metal piece. But otherwise they’re free-standing. The security strap is just to stop them toppling on you if they get top-heavy.

    • I did secure them to the wall. They provided a pair of L-shaped brackets for the purpose of fastening them to the wall.

    • I have had about twenty Billy bookcases over the years. Ahh, faithful Billy! They do come with securing straps, and it is a good idea to use them if you live in an area that gets earthquakes or if, to pick a random and totally hypothetical example, you have cats who might leap suddenly to the top of the bookcases with enough force to send two of them toppling over, denting the solid maple coffee table, strewing hundreds of books around the living room, and instilling in the cats a dread of books lasting for several years.

  4. Ooh, I had that bookcase. It is the only piece of Ikea furniture that has ever reduced me to tears. (Usuallly assembling Ikea furniture is my idea of a hot date…) I got to the last piece and failed so hard. The stick figures in the instructions seemed to speak, taunting me in swedish. I called it the vortex of sadness and swore I would get revenge. Eventually my husband manlied it in to submission and brought me chocolate ice cream. Last year we traded bedrooms and no one had room for it any more, so I took a sledgehammer to it with a certain amount of glee. Whee!

  5. This looks so… perfect. (Looks around in her own room where books spill everywhere.)

  6. Is it sad to go, “oh, Expedit! I wonder if they’ve spotted the Lekman boxes for it yet?”

    The wall next to me has something similar, but instead of 25 cubes of Expedit (three times?) I have 42 boxes of Magiker (seemed a good name!) They are slighly smaller boxes, but they are six high (I’ve got two 3x6 and one 1x6 to give a total of 7x6 or 42, plus a shorter wider one with the TV on in the main bedroom) … someone was selling them second hand on ebay so I couldn’t resist …

    … I can’t decide whether to go for the 4x4 or 5x5 expedit for the living room/dining room divider … the video projector will go on top of the 4x4 or in the middle top square of the 5x5 🙂


  7. Yay, IKEA. John and I have been to IKEA five times since we moved on January 4. Yeah, scary, but it is the best place on earth to get shelves, dressers, loveseats, desks, shoe racks, poster frames, magnetic boards, garbage cans, pillows, etc. that are reliable, easy to build, with good variety, and most of all, reasonably-priced. I don’t think we have a room in the house now that doesn’t have at least one piece of IKEA furniture.

    Though, yeah, we were very grateful to have a van with us for some of those trips. Those boxes can be big, heavy and cumbersome.

  8. We’re very fond of the Ikea Ivar shelves. Not least among their virtues is that they’re easily reconfigured for a new layout when we move.

  9. We have a number of Billy bookcases, and they are not secured to the wall. On the other hand, they are all shimmed slightly in the front (one layer of corrugated cardboard) to ensure they get support from the wall, so we have a bit of security there.

    Fortunately, NOche, the newish (October 2007) cat who happens to be a bouncy menace, and an up-cat as well, prefers the top of the fridge (as well as the childrens’ dressers, shelves, and the bathroom sink). Knock on wood (or pressboard, as it were 🙂 she won’t, even now that I’ve mentioned it.

  10. And for additional space saving options, so there is more room for books, check out this site:

    I need more rooms in which to put the bookcases for the books!

  11. Our books have ended up on Billy bookcases around three walls of one bedroom, unsurprisingly dubbed ‘the library’. The Billy bookcases aren’t ideal for paperbacks, being a bit deeper than I’d prefer for that, but I’m happy enough with them.

  12. We happen to fall into the area of the UK where you can order some stuff off the website and get it delivered without ever facing the crowd in the store. We got six billy bookcases with extra shelves delivered in January.

  13. …and what does it say about me that my second thought after “oh, nicely done!” is “…but…but… there’s the whole top of the unit that’s still *bookfree*!”? 😉

    Depending on how much nonfiction you have, two bookends may help… 😉

    Well done, though, ‘s lovely to see your books out. *hugs*

    • It’s far from bookfree now, and we still have more books than shelves. *grin* It’s much better than it was, though!

  14. Very nice shelves! I really need something like that, but our problem isn’t lack of shelving so much as lack of house.

  15. I’m sorry I said IKEA sucks.

  16. Yay, shelves! Are they sturdy enough to double-row up and down?

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