Product Type: Argos home furniture
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Need a narrow budget bookcase? Look no further
Argos Half Width Tall Extra Deep Bookcase
Member Name: Huomenna
Argos Half Width Tall Extra Deep Bookcase
Date: 14/02/11, updated on 14/02/11 (327 review reads)
Advantages: good range of colours, cheap and relatively well made, narrow enough to fit in lots of spaces
Disadvantages: Some panel damage prior to purchase seems common, back panel very poor quality
I'm slightly book obsessed and have a habit of buying at least one book whenever I go into town or the amazon website and as such bookcases are a necessity. When I first moved into my house it was 'fully furnished' (we rent from my mum) but not a single bookcase in sight, so it was one of the first things I set out to buy. I've been living here for almost 2 years now and in that time my book collection has expanded to fill two 'full size' bookcases, with more books in piles around them! Unfortunately though I was running out of space for another one and when searching for a solution to this dilema I discovered that Argos sell half width bookcases - brilliant I thought, as that will fit in the corner of our bedroom quite nicely.
Last weekend I made my way to the local Argos branch with the intent of buying a sewing machine, unfortunately they didn't have the one in stock that I wanted so I decided to buy the bookcase instead, which happily was in stock!
Price, colouration and availability:
The bookcase costs £29.99 at standard price and isn't an Argos Extra item so theoretically should be available in all Argos branches subject to stock. It's available in a number of different wood shades (not solid wood - I believe it's coated chip board which is why it's cheap) and also black or white - personally I went for the Walnut version and the colour was quite accurate to American black walnut. It comes flat packed in a long cardboard box which contains instructions for assembly.
Getting it home:
Despite not being solid wood, this bookcase is still pretty heavy and not something which I imagine most people would be able to carry for more than a few steps on their own. The box is very long and so would be best transported to a vehicle by two people. As for the appropriate vehicle to use - I have a Mk3 Golf and we got it into the car ok by folding down the back seats and sliding it between the front two, it pretty much took up the entire length of the inside of the car though so a small car eg. a classic mini like my boyfriends, would not be appropriate transportation.
Once we got it in the house, I dragged it up the stairs and we assembled it in the hallway - my reasoning was that it would be easier to get it up the stairs while still in a box, than build it downstairs and try to lift it up later.
Assembly itself wasn't too difficult and only really requires one person - the instructions were pretty basic and easy to follow, but then again bookcase construction from a flat pack kit is hardly rocket science. There are a couple of tools you need to complete the job that don't come with it, these are namely a hammer and screw driver. In total assembly should take the average person around 10/15 minutes.
I would advise building the main frame first - all the outer edges, the back panel and the middle shelf (which has a fixed position), this then gives it enough rigidity to pick it up and manouvre it into it's final position. At this point you can put the remaining four shelves in the desired position (there are predrilled holes all the way up the inside of the unit to allow you to put in the little spacers wherever you want).
Obviously for £29.99 you can't expect fabulous build quality. As mentioned earlier I believe it to be laminated chip board - sounds nasty doesn't it? Actually it looks alright. When you first take it out of the box you can see all the rough edges, but these are effectively hidden when constructed. The worst part about about the bookcase is the fimsy back panel which, to me essentially seems like laminated cardboard and even when construction is finished, it's easy to see that the back is poor quality - once you've started to fill the bookcase with books though, this is quite well hidden.
Unfortunately my bookcase had a chip in the laminate of the base panel which is quite obvious as it's at the front, however after lugging it home and taking it all out of the box I really couldn't be bothered to repack it, take it all the way back to Argos and get another one. I would have put this down as a one off - after all you can't always expect every product to be perfect, but every book case I've bought from Argos has been damaged in some small way.
The shelves are quite thick and sturdy and considering the length of them, they don't buckle in the middle when you fill them with heavy books. If you go for the full width version of this then you'll find that a row of heavy books will lead to buckling.
The bookcase is billed as being extra deep and I am happy with the depth of this as it accomodates most of my larger photography related books.
I would recommend this bookcase for those on a limited budget - it's not the best made or the best looking, but it's good value for what it is and the range of colour options mean that most people will be able to find one which fits in with their current decor. This is definately a bookcase to consider if you're lacking in available wall space against which to put a bookcase. I was slightly peeved to discover after I bought it that the full width version of this was on sale for £21.99 - so you effectively got twice the bookstorage for £8 less, but that's my own fault for not checking before buying and isn't of much help if you don't have enough space for the full width version.
Summary: A decent quality budget bookcase from Argos
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