The Home Library Project

I am an obsessive collector of books, stifled only by my own strict budget. My collection always seems to flow over my supply of shelves. 

Over the summer, my wife and I renovated the rear of our house, gutting the old addition that was once (and is now again) my home office. Gone now is the old pine paneling that used to line the uninsulated walls of a former screened-in porch. Now the room is insulated, drywalled, and has fancy LED lighting. 

With a new office space came an opportunity to finally build a sufficient space for my books. I decided to dedicate an entire wall of the room to holding my collection. The roughly 75 square feet of wall space seemed like enough, so I got to planning the shelves.

At first I wanted fancy built-ins, but those being cost-prohibitive and me being a cheapskate, I instead went internet browsing for more ideas. I came upon writer Neil Gaiman's incredible basement library and had an ah-ha! moment. I didn't need fancy shelves, I just needed long shelves and lots of them. 

So I went a cheaper route: metal hangers and hand-built, but simple, long wooden shelves. 

The construction process went something like this (scroll through the gallery):

I hung racks from the studs in the wall, then arms from the racks. On the arms I placed long boards painted white, and on the boards I placed books. Pretty simple, right? The entire project (racks, arms, wood, paint) cost me only about $450. Probably a third of what full built-in shelves would have cost.

And I couldn't be happier. The room now feels like the library I always wanted. And my books are finally inside where they belong, instead of out in the garage where they sat in bins for nearly four months as we renovated and waited for carpet.

Now I'm in the process of cataloging my roughly 500 books, most of which are law-, history-, and sociology-related. I'm also a big science fiction nerd, and I'm an obsessive Isaac Asimov fan. I currently have eight different versions of his Foundation Trilogy, including a leather-bound collection and the Folio Society's incredible illustrated set.

You can check out my full library here. Note that the cataloging work is still in progress, and the collection is always growing larger.