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My house is full of bookcases. In fact we only have two rooms that do not have bookcases - the bathroom and the kitchen. Even the hallway has a bookcase. After buying three Billy Bookcases from Ikea, a large unit from Argos, and a few smaller units, I felt we finally had enough storage space for books. But me saying I won't buy any more bookcases is rather like another well known member here saying she won't buy any more Betty Boop collectibles. We all know it is just a matter of time. I have an obsession with books, and sooner or later we end up needing more space to accommodate them - in spite of a few clear outs with ebay and donations to local libraries and the children's hospital.
Up until recently, I had a small cart near my bed, which held the 40 or so most often read books ( we can read for 2 -3 hours per night at bedtime). I do have a few higher book shelves in my room plus a dresser and cupboard full, but these were the ones we want every night. The problem is, they were all stacked on the cart, and tended to end up spilled all over the floor as my son would look through for whichever ones he wanted each night. I have to admit knocking the pile over several times myself. Now I am very picky about books on the floor. It isn't just that it is messy - it as that books could be stepped on or have something spilled on them. Books have always been treasures to me, and are treated accordingly.
Unfortunately, I didn't have room for more large Billy Bookcases in my room, and my 3 year old does have trouble finding his books in traditional bookcases, as he can not read the spines. I needed something that would fit in a small space, and make the books easy for him to see and look through. I had considered these sling type bookcases before, but was always put off by the price . They are usually near £40. When I noticed these at Argos for only £12.79, I couldn't resist.
As with all Argos furniture, this came flat packed. We ended up with two, but the first one did not include any instructions at all. For the most part, it was easy enough to figure to out, but it we did end up confused as to which way to hang the cloth section, just ended up guessing and were lucky to get it right. Other than that, assembly was not too difficult, but sliding the cloth section over the wooden beams is a slow process, and does require some care. Total assembly time was about 45 minutes for the first set, and 30 minutes for the second, with only a few swear words. Instructions were included in the second set, but as we had already assembled the first, we didn't really need them. My husband said they wouldn't really have helped with the cloth anyway, and that was the only difficult part.
This is particle board, with laminate to make it look like beech wood. It is cheap furniture, but it does look nice. Of course this type of material is not as strong as solid wood. My sons have outgrown climbing on bookcases, but I'm sure these would break with any real abuse. This type of material can chip easily as well. But for our purposes, it is sturdy enough and able to hold a great many books. I have 40 in one and 27 in another, plus a small box set of 12 books, and I still have space for a few more. The one with less books has a few very large books and pop ups. The biggest disadvantage to this unit though is the fact that the cloth can not be removed for washing. The only way to take the cloth off would be to disassemble the entire unit, and with particle board like this, it is very easy to ruin the wood taking it apart and putting it back together. The cloth is white as well - not the best choice for a child's room and these are meant as children's bookcases. In our case, this is less of an issue as these are in my room, and we would never handle books with dirty hands as that is a good way to ruin books.
This does fit in a very small space at the foot of my bed. The base of each unit is only 9 1/4", tapering up to 8 1/2" at the top. The height is 28 1/2" inches and the width is roughly 24", but please be aware that these are my measurements with a ruler and could be slightly off. I do think these look lovely. You don't see much of the fabric as the books cover most of the material. What you do see is just a display of our favourite children's books.
I originally bought one of these, but we liked it so much, I sent my husband back for a second one. My youngest has one filled with all of his favourite picture books, including some very large books such as "365 Penguins" which is 14" tall, and some pop up books as well. My oldest has graphic novels filling up the first 3 shelves on the second unit, with room on the fourth level for extra picture books and pop ups. Both boys love these units as it makes it so easy for them to find which books they want. Of course some books are behind others, but we have them all organised by type, so they know by the front book what books will be behind it. It makes choosing stories for bedtime a snap now. I also found this very handy recently as my youngest had injured his foot again. They don't think it is broken this time, but it was still a full day in casualty. Having the books well organised and easy to find meant I could just grab a dozen of his favourites in one go - which we read over and over and over while waiting.
At this price, Argos is selling out quickly. I have just checked and our closest store is now out. They do have some further away, but in places where parking is difficult, or quite some distance. If there had been another in stock nearby, I would have bought it. I am really surprised by how many books it holds, and certainly recommend this at such a low price. The full price though, is £31.99. At this price, I think I would choose one of the sets with darker coloured cloth if buying this for a child's room, as we all know how white will show any stain or mark. Ideally, I would prefer a set with with removable cloth sections for washing.
As the name indicates, this is intended as a child's bookcase. It really is wonderful for small children as it allows them to see and choose their books very easily. It is also very easy for them to put the books away, and a good way to teach them to tidy their books up when finished. It is best suited to larger, thinner books. I couldn't see buying this to keep paperback novels in. However, I think this would be very nice for an adult who collect graphic novels or other larger books. It would also be handy to store a collection of magazines. It really is surprising just how many books or magazines you can fit, and you could easily store 60 - 70 magazines or perhaps 60 graphic novels. This would work for comics as well, but they would have to be bagged and boarded, otherwise they might tend to bend with time, or get folded by accident. ( Any real comic collector knows they must be kept flat and usually in bags as well). But it would look quite nice filled to the brim with comics.