Price and Availability
Like all Ikea products this is manufactured and sold exclusively by Ikea and can only be purchased in Ikea stores or through their website. It comes in four different colours, black-brown, birch veneer, oak veneer, and white. I had the black-brown version.
They are all priced at £55 except for the white one which is £35.
The design is very basic but as you may have guessed so far from my other reviews that is what I prefer (you may also notice I like black furniture). This is a really tall bookcase at 202cm (just over 6.5 feet) It has 6 shelves and is really specious, the width is 80cm (2.5 feet) and the depth is 28cm (just under 1 foot). We had tonnes of books and this shelf held most of them. It is very simple plain black veneer all straight lines and not much detail almost minimalistic but very nice and keeps the focus on the books. The only thing that lets it down is the back of it is that cheap sheet material stuff instead of a solid back and you have to tack it on.
This was a little bit difficult to assemble due to it's size and weight and I put it together on my own, it would have been a lot easier with two people but I work better on my own. It took me about 45mins to assemble, and another 10mins to get it into position. It weighs nearly 40kg so keep that in mind.
The back didn't stay on very well to be honest I didn't put all the tacks in but I put about 20 in and they kept coming out which was really annoying it ended up bowing and letting light through. The actual structure of the unit felt quite strong but each shelf was only balancing on four little pegs and if you pushed the shelf right back they would some times fall down which is really annoying if you have a lot of books on the shelf at the time. Once we got used to the unit and knew not to push the shelves right back we knew how to handle the unit we didn't have any major issues with it. It isn't the best design when it comes to sturdiness though.
Overall I can only give this 3 stars as the shelves just ared sturdy enough and at the end of the day that is what you need from a shelving unit really. It does look nice and holds a lot of books but as it was so unstable we had to get rid of it before our little boy started crawling as it was a bit of a death trap but if you have no pets or children that could knock into it, it is a decent looking shelving unit.
I bought one of these Billy bookcases in Ikea last summer as somewhere to store my overflow books which could no longer be crammed on my existing book case as I have far too many. There are lots of different shaped, sized and coloured bookcases available in this range but I have the smallest one which measures 40cm x 28cm x 106cm and has three shelves. I was actually in the market for something bigger - there are some really nice tall Billy bookcases but unfortunately they are taller than my car is long so I opted for this one! (Home delivery is an option though, if you can be bothered with it).
As with all Ikea furniture, it comes flat packed and self assembly is required following the picture instructions. Due to the small size of my bookcase, assembly was really quick and straightforward and presented no challenges at all. There is a cut out at the bottom at the back of the bookcase so it goes up against the skirting board. This isn't so useful if you live in a victorian house like I do as the skirting boards are a foot tall but the base of the bookcase is still large enough so that it sits stirdily anyway without needing a wall attachment for stability. The shelves are also strong and able to hold a decent amount of weight as mine are double-stacked with books.
I have the white version of this small bookcase which cost me £12 and which I consider to be good value for money. It is also available in birch veneer, black-brown and oak veneer but for some reason all of these three options are double the price at £25 each. I would not pay that much for this bookcase no matter what the colour is - bear in mind you can get a much larger white billy bookcase for the same price as these. This is a pattern with Ikea furniture though - the white stuff is always much cheaper.
In conclusion, this is a nice little bookcase which is strong, decent to look at and good value for money so I would recommend it.
Is there anyone who has been to Ikea and come out without a Billy bookcase? They have to be one of the most popular bookcases in the country, and with good reason. Starting at around £30-£40 for a white bookcase they then come in a variety of woods and colours, shapes and sizes. You can have an ultra-long three shelf case, or a thin seven shelf one. You can have a case with a glass front, or one built to go around corners. If, like our family, you have a book addiction, you will probably end up with a Billy at some point. This may depend on just how many books you need in your life though. My husband and I have something like five bookcases of books - EACH - before starting on the baby books (non-fiction books not even included in that figure). With that many cases needed, if we want them to vaguely match we can't afford to go fancy. Maybe, if we had less books, we would spend more on one case.
But Billy has been good to us. My huband likes the fact that unlike some of our cheaper cases they have "proper" sides (rather than a bar) and a back so the books can't fall out. The fact that Ikea has always, and most likely will always, stocked Billy means it's easy to pick up a spare shelf if needed (though be careful - they do occasionally discontinue colours) and they're not difficult to put together. They're also robust - my husband's first Billy lasted him over 20 years!
They're not fancy, they're not made with special wood and you have to build them yourself.. but if you need a bookcase that's sturdy and good value, you won't go far wrong with a Billy.
Having studied at university and started a masters degree I had many large textbooks that were overflowing my room, I had to put them in piles next to my desk as I just had no room! Therefore I knew it was time to invest in a new bookcase unit, and as I was on a budget I decided to take a trip to Ikea.
== PRICE ==
When I was browsing the home section I came across the Ikea Billy Bookcases, there were a range of sizes to choose from as well as handy add on components. I decided to opt for the birch veneer bookcases that had a width of 40 cm and height of 160cm priced at around £20. The price was one the main reasons I opted for the Ikea range, but the other deciding factor was the quality, as I already have quite few furniture items from Ikea scattered around the house and have always been pleased with the quality and longevity of their items.
== MY EXPERIENCE ==
I personally recommend that you take measurements to make sure it fits into your car with ease, as the packaged item is quite long and therefore would be ideal to fit into a medium sized car with a bigger boot or foldable back seats. Thankfully, I pre-planed and took my partners van which made the process a lot easier.
When it came down to assembly (the bit I usually dread) I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to assemble. The parts were all securely packaged along with all the required screws etc. I just needed a screwdriver, hammer and a pencil which was already in my tool box.
When it was fully assembled the bookcase was a lot lighter than I had expected, which was great as it enabled a weakling like me to fairly easily move the bookcase to the area I wanted without any hassle. Once I had chosen the spot I then secured it to the wall and then it was ready to accommodate my textbooks.
I find these bookcases to be very strong and sturdy; none of the shelves have bent from the weight of the textbooks which illustrates the high quality of the material.
== FINAL VERDICT ==
Overall I would recommend these Ikea Billy Bookcases as they have a range of sizes to choose from and all at great prices. The bookcases are of great quality and are long lasting, I have had mine for over a year now and they still look just like new. I am actually planning to buy more of these bookcases for other rooms in the house as for the price and the quality these are ideal bookcases for any home.
I purchased a Billy bookcase as I was looking for a good value bookcase for student accommodation. I have been impressed with Ikea furniture in the past and decided to stick with it for my bookcase. I initially purchased a Billy Bookcase in 40X28X106 White but have since order the taller thin models and a CD storage case. Different sizes and shapes of Billy bookcase can be put together to create really useful storage systems.
Design and assembly:
The Billy Bookcase system is designed to be flexible. I first chose a smaller model which has 2 shelves. The height of the shelves is adjustable. This was particularly useful for me as the standard fit only allows for A4 sized books to fit on the bottom shelf. I assembled it so that A4 folders can fit on 2 shelves. The design is basic which means a Billy Bookcase will fit in with many different design schemes. The white colour works well with my other light bedroom furniture but also fits well in my living room with pine furniture.
The bookcase was easy to fit. It does require a hammer to assemble but as a novice I managed the small bookcase in 30 minutes.
Quality and value for money:
At £10 for the small white Billy bookcase, I couldn't ask for a better price. The price is particularly good value as I have found my bookcase to be sturdy and capable of holding a lot of heavy books. The other colours go for £27 for the same sized bookcase so I'll stick with the white!
Overall, Billy Bookcases are wonderfully flexible, great value and will work with virtually any design scheme. I am looking to purchase a couple more as I know there will always be a Billy for the storage need I have. They will move with me to my next home as they will go with any other furniture and I wouldn't be without them!
It seems that if there is one piece of furniture that everybody has it is the IKEA Billy bookcase range. When I moved into my old house five years ago I needed furniture to store books and bits and bobs on and as my Mum had the Billy range and it had lasted well (seven years and counting) I decided to buy the Ikea Billy range. They come in a range of sizes and finishes with complementary accessories.
In fact I now have two Billy bookcases, the 40 cm wide and 106 cm high shelving unit and the 40 cm wide and 202 cm high unit, and their wall unit (which I use as a bookshelf as it fitted into the space I had available) all in Birch Veneer.
Obviously these units come flat packed but they are genuinely easy to put up as I have now done several of them. One thing I would say is you will need two people for the taller ones (mainly to hold panels in place etc) but I have put up the smaller ones on my own. You also don't need an extensive tool kit to do put these up - a Phillips screw driver, a flat screwdriver a pencil and a hammer but if you are attaching it to the wall you may also need a drill but that off course depends on your wall.
Once up the shelves are adjustable (although not on the wall unit) so you can change them to suit your needs - I found this especially helpful as I could have one tall shelf for photo albums and a smaller one for photo frames etc. You can also buy extra shelves so if you do need more shelves the option is there.
They are also pretty sturdy - I have had my bookcases for five years and in that time they have had heavy books on them and have been moved and are still in really good condition. The only gripe I have is that the door I bought for my taller shelf always falls off but that could be more down to the installation than the design.
Starting at £20 for a basic book shelf in white and with such a good range this is a really versatile piece of furniture and to still be standing after five years can't be bad. I am only removing a star for the problems I have with a door but beyond that a really good bit of furniture.
In 1979 the designer Gillis Lundgren designed a simple bookcase which wasn't named after a Finnish town or village like other bookcases from IKEA but got the name BILLY after the Swedish word for cheap = billig (same in German, btw). When in 2009 it celebrated its 30th anniversary, about 41 million specimens had been sold making this piece of furniture the most sold one worldwide. I haven't found a more current figure but, of course, the number has risen since then, albeit more slowly than before. More about this later. I can always understand numbers better when they come with concrete examples. Think: Spain. Now think: ~ 46 million Spaniards and imagine that each Spaniard, from the newborn babe to the seemingly dead one, owns a BILLY bookcase from IKEA. Quite impressive, isn't it?
Many a review has been deleted because it's clear that the writer doesn't own the product and has no personal experience. What their colleague's brother-in-law's cousin twice removed has to say isn't relevant. What I have to say about BILLY bookcases is relevant, though. We've got three which have been standing side by side for more than 30 years doing without the slightest complaint what bookcases have to do, namely hold books. This means we bought them a short time after they hit the German market, just like nearly all our friends. Hardly a German home without at least one BILLY bookcase! They were cheap then, they still are (55 GBP), they look good in a no-frills way. We had our BILLY bookcases in our living-room at the beginning but have better furniture there now. The BILLIES have moved to the study.
We've got some other pieces of furniture from IKEA, small ones, shelves and drawers for the kitchen and the bathroom. I've assembled them myself. I don't find this difficult and prefer being on my own doing it. I couldn't assemble BILLY, of course, the different pieces are too big for one person. For your information: My husband and I survived the IKEA assembling test and are still married.
One bookcase measures 80x80x202 cm. The bottom is 6 cm high, on it lies the first shelf. Five other adjustable shelves, each 1.8 cm high, can be put in according to the wishes and needs of the users. Thusly there are six shelves to put books on. The instructions tell you, "This furniture must be fixed to the wall with the enclosed wall fastener." Sounds sensible, but we haven't done it. Can you imagine! It's not possible in our very old house (~ 115 years) because there's a small ledge at the wall 10cm above the floor so that the back of the bookcase doesn't touch the wall there. The whole bookcase leans slightly towards the wall, the upper part touching it. What with the weight of mostly hardcover books is has stood there bomb-proof up to now without being fastened.
We've got the birch veneer variety. The veneer covers only the visible parts. Naturally, because covering the invisible parts would mean wasting money, an alien concept for IKEA. I'm reminded of this every time I dust the shelves because we put in one shelf the wrong side up by mistake. It wouldn't be difficult to take out the books and adjust it, but somehow we've never got around it.
You can get Billy in different heights, widths, in birch veneer, white, dark brown and with glass doors.
The depth of the shelves has always been 28 cm (11''), there's now a new generation with a depth of 39 cm (15''). You may think that this is just another piece of boring information. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's been the topic of heated discussions in quality newspapers and other media. In IKEA ad speak the extra width has been introduced 'to give the customers more flexibility'. The Economist asked, "Does the firm truly reckon that customers will increasingly use them for ornaments, tchotchkes and the odd coffee-table tome - anything, that is, except books that are actually read?" The end of books as we know them is nigh! The end of bookcases as we know them is nigh! Who needs them if one Amazon Kindle can store 1.500 books? (My older Kindle version can store even 4.500 books).
Oh no, say the IKEA peepz, Ebooks didn't factor at all in the decision to build deeper bookcases. BILLY bookcases with the 11'' deep shelves will still be stocked, production won't be curtailed. The deeper ones are merely an effort to respond to how customers are presently living their lives.
Whatever that means.
Arguably Ikea's most famous piece of furniture, the Billy bookcases come in a wide range of sizes and styles, with or without various doors. This review is for the tall 2-door one (80cm wide) and the tall skinny (40cm wide) one.
The bookcases are easy to put together if you can handle standard flat-packs, but if you move them after assembly the backs tend to fall off as they are just thin nailed-on chipboard.
The tall 2-door Billy in white, which I own with the glass doors, looks fab in my living room as it fits perfectly into the chimney breast alcove. It has 5 shelves, and you can place them at different heights so it is very versatile. We mainly use them for books, and this has been a bit of a problem as it can't really cope with the weight of a shelf full of books without bowing irreparably. After a year or two, one or two shelves actually collapsed, and we had to reinforce the shelf with a metal bracket. In the end, we decided to buy a new identical Billy, and reuse the glass doors off the old one, as this was our cheapest option. Had it come down to buying the whole thing again, I don't think I would. On re-examining the bookcases on display in the Ikea showroom, you can actually see some bowing even under the weight of fake books. I wish I had noticed it the first time!
The Billy glass doors we have had for 7 years and they are still very strong with a good finish. The only thing that lets them down is that the little wooden handles look cheap, but you can always change those.
The tall, skinny Billy is much stronger that the 80cm wide one, because of the design and the fact that there is less length of shelf that can bow under the weight of books. We have it in my daughters' room , filled with books, and there is no bowing or weakening at all. My conclusion - if you want durable, longer lasting bookshelves then you are better to go for the tall skinny Billy rather than the 2-door version as it is stronger, and you can screw several side-by side if you want (as my in-laws have done to create a strong wall of bookcases.
Ikea Billy Bookcase
We currently have one Billy bookcase residing in our lounge that we have owned for a year or two and are currently looking to buy a second Billy bookcase to match. These are a very popular and staple Ikea storage items that have been available for a good number or years now. I have been very impressed with the design and quality of this bookcase.
Ikea products typically come flat packed in boxes, which is something that may put many people off buying from them. For myself and my partner building our own flat furniture and helping out family members is something that we have done many times before and have never had any major disasters!
The Billy bookcase is purchased from Ikea megastores so you must make sure that you have a car with you and enough room in it for fitting the bookcase packaging. The product is boxed in a single heavy duty cardboard box and has dimensions of 29 cm width x 12 cm height and 204 cm length. The weight of the bookcase is 33.8 kg.
The Billy bookcase comes with a very detailed A4 assembly instruction pamphlet, as well as all the materials needed to build this bookcase. All you need is a couple of screwdrivers and a bit of common sense and building this is a piece of cake. Myself and my partner managed to build this in around half an hour to forty five minutes and we have no issues of leftover screws or missing parts. Overall I would rate this as a simple build item.
The bookcase comes in multiple sizes and styles, with corner units, glass door versions and whole wall units available for you to choose from. We own the classic and smaller style bookcase, which has full constructed dimensions of 80 cm width x 28 cm depth and a height of 202 cm. The bookcase comes with 5 shelves included in the box, which hold a maximum load of 30 kg.
The choice of colours is very good for this particular Ikea product, we have the Black version to match our lounge style and design, but you also get this bookcase in white, beech, birch and lacquered colours depending on your local store. I really like the black version as it looks more wooden/real wood than made of artificial materials and you can see a grain in the bookcase.
The inside of the bookcase has adjustable shelf studs which is what attracted us to this bookcase in the first place. This bookcase is used as a cd shelving unit in our house and so five shelves was not going to be enough. Luckily Ikea are very practical and sell matching shelves in colours that you can purchase the bookcase in. We have a total of ten shelves in our bookcase that gives us eleven rows of storage for cd's (of which my partner has hundreds!). The shelf space is perfect for this purpose with the bottom shelf having slightly more room and allowing a row of DVD's to be stored on it.
All in all we are really happy with our Billy bookcase and two years on it still looks as good as new. It is very sturdy and well made, obviously sticking to the build instructions will ensure that you get a solid piece of furniture too.
Our size Billy bookcase is the cheapest (and smallest) model in Ikea costing £45 with 5 shelves included, you can also buy additional shelves for £9 a piece. As I have mentioned we are about to buy another one of these in the same style and colour which obviously speaks highly of the product. I rate this as 5 out of 5 stars for value and quality.
Base material: Particleboard, Foil, ABS plastic
Side panel: Particleboard, Foil, Melamine foil, ABS plastic
Plinth front: Particleboard, Foil
Back: Fibre board, Foil
When moving into my house last year I realised that to store all my CDs and DVDs in something a little more permenant than the 'pile' system I had used in my previous rental flats. Owning close around 500 of each I didn't fancy using about 20 racks all over the place, so on a furnishing trip to IKEA I choose two of the billy bookcases to fit the purpose. Luckily they fit perfecly into the two alcoves in my living room and provide storage for a large number of CDs, DVDs, photo albulms and even a playstation (with my added work of drilling a hole in the back for the wires.
The billy bookcase is part of an IKEA range and comes in several sizes and colours. I chose black which fits my living room well, however you can choose from a range of white, wood effect, black, blue, brown, yellow and even a funky patterned design.
I won't list all the sizes here, but you can choose from a range of widths and heights from 2 shelves tall to 6 shelves high. I chose the largest size which measures Width: 80 cm, Depth: 39 cm, Height: 202 cm and fits perfectly in the space available in my living room.
You can also buy extra shelves and corner fittings if yuo want to adapt the bookcase. I stuck with the original 6 shelves, although could easily add another one for another row of CDs.
As with a lot of IKEA furniture, it comes flat pack and requires assembly. It's provided in 2 packages which might be astruggle to get in car (luckily I had a van available for the day). I found it pretty straightforward nd it is carried out by screwing the outer frame together using the provided allen key, nailing the back panel on and then slotting in the shelves. It's quite weighty to move (approximatley 52kg), but I found it manageable on my own.
As described above, this bookcase provides a lot of storage. The shelves are deep and I have no trouble storing large photo albulms neatly.
The build quality is good and the unit feels robust and solid and doesn't flex at all when loaded with a lot of stuff. IKEA state each shelf can take 14.3kg...which is loads.
At £80 per bookcase (ranging from much lower for the smaller ones) I think these are exceptional value. They may be more expensive than Argos or other value brands, but they really are good quality and solid.
Well priced, solid, weighty and an ideal storage solution. Easy to build and highly recommended.
Having seen Billy bookcases at friends' houses, I decided the design of them looked great and bought a couple for myself. It helped that every one of my friends that owned one recommended it too! I ended up buying a tall one and a small narrow one too.
The very basic design of them means they'll fit in in almost any house and they come in a range of finishes too. They also come in a variety of different heights and widths so there's definitely one for everyone! They are also very reasonably priced, which is probably why everyone has them.
As with almost everything from Ikea, Billy bookcases come as a flat pack to build at home. You get given everything you need to build them, except a hammer (for which I just used the heel of a shoe) and a screwdriver (which I did have). The instructions are very simple to follow and I had absolutely no problems getting the shelves together on my own. It was really quick and easy and much less stressful than I had expected. You can choose the heights of each of the shelves which is good as you can make them exactly the height you want rather than being stuck with whatever the manufacturer has decided is best.
The result is a good sturdy set of shelves which have been put to good use tidying up the house a bit. They're not too heavy either, which is great if you've built it in the middle of the room and need to move it over to a wall.
As yet, I haven't found anything to be wrong with this product and am really pleased with them.
I had been looking for a bookcase to fit an awkward space in my living room - 24 inch gap between the chimney brace and the wall. A friend suggested Billy Bookcase from Ikea due to its wide range of sizes and now I'm the proud owner of a perfect little bookcase ! The Billy range is fantastic and comes in a variety of colours and sizes to match any room.(I opted for dark mahogany to match my living room but other colours include pine, red and white. In my opinion the dark mahogany is the most expensive looking option , the colour is very deep and rich). As with most Ikea products its flat packed so you have to build it yourself. The instructions are easy to follow and in less than hour (and thanks to help from a friend) I had my own bookcase built! In my opinion its a two person job to construct. In terms of the end product the shelves are deep and strong and are now happily supporting lots of books. The bookcase is classly looking and the shelves well apportioned. This bookcase is much cheaper than alternatives in furniture shops ( around sixty pounds) and I am very pleased with it.
We have a lot of Ikea furniture in our house, and although I know in the past it hasn't had the best reputation for longevity, I have always found their products to be sturdy and hardwearing. These Billy bookcases are very well known, with most people having at least heard of them, if not owning one. Or two, in our case.
We have one of these bookcases in our kitchen/utility area, to house my extensive (my husband would say ridiculous) collection of cookery books. The other one is in our spare room for the rest of my book collection, I keep hinting that if I had a Kindle, we might be able to free up some space in the spare room.....
Anyway, back to the bookcases. My husband already owned these when I met him, so in total he has had them for about 7 years. They come in a variety of colours and the ones we have which are the taller ones, currently retail at £55 according to the Ikea website. They are available in different sizes and it's possible to get doors to cover them if you so wish. Matching items are available, and I believe the Benno CD/DVD towers fit well alongside the Billy bookcases, which means you can maximise storage in limited spaces. Like most Ikea furniture they come flat-packed, but I can't comment on the ease of assembly as they were already assembled when I started using them.
The rest of my review will focus on the bookcases we own, which are the tall ones. We have them in birch veneer, which is a light wood, but they are available in oak, black, black-brown and white finishes as well. The black and the white ones cost £35 instead of £55. The dimensions of the tall Billy is as follows:
The bookcase has five shelves, which are adjustable so you can easily store tall reference books as well as standard sized books. The one we have in the kitchen also has a shelf in the middle which is just for decorative items, so we have a book stand stored there to make it look a bit less cluttered. The shelves are very sturdy, and the bookcase has survived a couple of house moves without becoming unstable or wobbly.
The demands we place on this bookcase are quite harsh, especially in the kitchen/utility room. Most cookbooks are hardback, and quite heavy, and we have four shelves full of cookbooks, along with a pile of cookery magazines. At one point, one of the shelves was starting to bow a little, but this was due to extreme overloading and I wouldn't blame the bookcase for this.
Cleaning the bookcase isn't too troublesome, I just use a duster and sometimes furniture polish if it's looking a bit grubby. I usually just clean around the books instead of moving them to do the entire shelf, but then I guess most people would admit to doing this so I won't beat myself up over it!
The skirting boards in our house are quite high and thick, so although it hasn't been a problem with the bookcase not being perfectly flush against the wall, we have had to secure it to the wall to avoid it toppling over. It's unlikely this would happen but if it did, it would cause a fair bit of damage to our floor tiles (and anyone in the room!) so we decided better safe than sorry on this one.
Overall, I would recommend this bookcase as an excellent storage option. They're very basic in design, but look reasonably smart and I particularly like the fact that the backing to the bookcase doesn't look cheap and flimsy like some of them can sometimes. Five stars for Billy!
(This review may also be posted on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)
OK then hands up - who's got a Billy book case from IKEA? I am guessing there are a fair few of them around!
We bought ours when my (now) husband and I first got together and he was studying for his degree in computing. We had a three bedroomed house at the time and converted one of the rooms into a study with both our computers in there. We needed some book cases too so we made a visit to our local branch of IKEA.
We wanted something fairly simple - a basic book case was all that was needed. We saw the Billy range and we decided that was exactly what we needed.
We ordered two book cases and a CD tower to keep all Dave's computer CD's tidy. This was about 15 years ago and we have since sold the CD tower but the two book cases are still going strong.
At the time that we purchased our book cases I don't remember how many different colours there were but there was definitely a much smaller range of alternatives than there are now!
I have taken a look on the IKEA site just to get the current prices of the ones that we bought and found that they do a huge range of 'Billys'. They are available in birch veneer (the ones we have) oak veneer, white or black-brown. The range now includes standard book cases of various widths with shelves of various depths, with and without glass doors, there are ones that go round corners, ones with cupboards at the bottom and ones that have a television bench fitted into them.
The book cases that we have are the birch veneer standard ones without glass doors that currently retail at the bargain price of £55 each. We have five shelves in ours and the depth between the shelves is adjustable so that a couple of our shelves are the right height for larger books.
The dimensions are 202cm high by 80cm wide by 28cm deep. The book cases come flat packed with clear instructions on how to put them together. The instructions can actually be downloaded directly from the IKEA site so you can take a look before you decide whether to buy. From what I remember the book cases were very easy to construct - it has been a while since we built ours but I don't remember any problems or tantrums!
The book case is made up of the side panels, the shelves including a top and bottom and a back panel. Of course all the various fittings are included and, since it is fairly tall, it would be advisable for two of you to build it. I think it would be a struggle to do on your own.
Once built the book cases need to be attached to the wall using the fixing device included with the pack. This is needed so that the book case doesn't topple over once it is loaded with heavy books.
To clean the book case I just flick a duster over it or maybe wipe it with a damp cloth if I feel that it needs it.
The actual material that this book case is made from is something called particleboard with birch veneer covered by clear acrylic lacquer with a back panel of fibreboard.
To be honest I wouldn't have the television book case in the lounge as I don't think it would look special enough although this is, of course, a matter of opinion. For office or playroom furniture I don't think you can beat Billy book cases and I would definitely recommend them!
Fifteen years and two house moves later ours are still looking great and doing the job for which they were bought.
I have a slight addiction in buying books, books that a few years ago amounted to 500. 500 books scattered around the room, needing a home for themselves. A trip to IKEA solved that problem. What I liked about the Billy bookcase range was its modern look, the light colour (Beech - which is a light wood colour), and the height and width; it was big enough, to hold all my books without making my room look even smaller than it already was. The bookcase that I purchased was the siz shelved, thin bookcase, the middle one in the picture above. At £35, it was the cheapest bookcase within my requirements that I could find.
Setting it up:
The book case comes in bits, flat packed. It is heavyish, but manageable, so long as you have an extra pair of hands to help you carry it into the house. If putting it up in an upstairs room, the best thing to do is to open it up downstairs, and carry up the different parts upstairs before putting it together.
There are many parts to the bookcase, the only tools you will need are a screwdriver and hammer, everything else is provided for you. Once I'd figured out what I had, the different bits etc, piecing it together took me about two hours. The instructions were easy to follow. It should be noted that it needs to be screwed into the wall, the bits for this are included in the pack. It also has space at the back, so that it can fit in against the skirtingboard.
Things to watch out for:
There were a couple of problems that I faced after putting it together. The first of these was fixing the top part of the bookcase the wrong way around, while not a problem of functionality, it does look a little odd as the shelf is the wrong way around and therefore the edge is different in colour to the other removable shelves. As this particular part is nailed to the back of the bookcase, it would be problematic to change it as I'd have to take the whole thing apart, plus the other side will now have the nail holes in it. Moral of the story, always check that all the shelves that need to be fixed are the right way around before nailing it all together.
The other problem was the items they had provided to fix the bookcase to the wall. After about a month or so, I noticed the bookcase was tilting slightly forward, and realised that the screw had come off partially from the wall. The bookcase had at this time, not been jam-packed with books, so the items they had provided were simply not strong enough to hold it against the wall. I found I had the same problem with the second bookcase I purchased, so it wasn't just a fluke. This was easily fixed by buying the similar parts that were stronger, from B&Q, and I haven't had a problem since.
Previously I have managed to cram around 500 books into one bookcase, so it does hold a good amount of books. They were a mix of different sized books, though most of these books were the standard-sized paperback novels. Without cramming, it is possible to fit 40 to 50 standard-sized paperbacks on one shelf. There are six shelves, four of which are moveable.
This has been a very good product, nothing has worn out or chipped away or become creaky, like a number of IKEA products that need replacing after a year or two. I have owned one of the bookcases for around 7 years, and the other for around 2. Neither have needed replacing, if anything I need more of them!