The Hang Fire Books Blog

The rantings of a bookdealer in Brooklyn, New York.

Friday, August 24, 2007

How do you store your books?

So I'm contemplating a move soon and I thought it would be a good time to rethink the way I store my inventory.

Right now I have a 12' X 17' space with high ceilings and I'm at about 2/3 capacity with approx 4000 books.

Here's a photo tour of my "shop".

NOTE: Since I'm the only person who accesses it, my principles are density and organization rather that it ain't exactly pretty.

The shelving is from True Value (I think this is the unit). It's rated at 150 pounds per shelf, 750 pounds total). They're light and disassemble completely so all the shelves fit into a medium-sized trunk. I have them wired to the wall--and together--to delay my eventual biblio-pulverization.

The books are stacked 2 rows deep; divided by first letter of title (excepting articles) and then by size. Large format books go on a separate set of shelves (visible in the foreground).

Here's my packing station. It's pricey metro shelving that I lucked into for free. B-Flute goes on top, plastic roll is suspended beneath, Brodarts and cleaning/restoration supplies go on the lower shelves. For photo sessions, I clip a piece of poster board to my work surface, set up the tripod and I'm off.

Off to the side is my trusty dehumidifier which handles the room nicely, keeping it around 38-42% humidity.

Here's a shot down the left aisle. In the back I have a monstrous filing cabinet (dumpster-dived) where I store all my pamphlets, ephemera and other spineless material. On top of the cabinet are boxes of comics and magazines. These are likely to tear open my innards one day, because I have to reach over my head and unstack/restack them all every time I sell a magazine.

I put these dandy shelf podiums together (2X4s & 3/4 inch plywood) because I needed more space for crap storage. I considered going above the shelves but that would have taken much more lumber. Alice has promised to help me make "skirts" for these, but they're barelegged for the time being.

That's pretty much it.

In an ideal world I world my book room would look like this:

But this isn't that world.

So how do you do it? Send photos if you like and I'll collect them for another post.


Gavin said...


William Smith said...

Yuppers. Mortgage city, baby. Ditmas Park Coop. Not counting chickens yet, because the chickens have lawyers.

Anonymous said...

We use the same shelves for our son's toys. I'm wondering how you wired them to the walls? I'd like to be able to do that without major damage to the walls.

And do you realize that if you bought more of the shelving units, but used only the shelves and not the side frames that you could add extra shelves to each unit you already have? Just an idea.

Did you ever skirt the bottom like you mention? I'd love to see a photo of that or any updates and new ideas.