Newest Review: ... of the material. == FINAL VERDICT == Overall I would recommend these Ikea Billy Bookcases as they have a range of sizes to choos... more
Tall and reliable, just how I like my men!
Ikea Billy Bookcases
Member Name: Holland1
Ikea Billy Bookcases
Advantages: Reasonably priced, matching items available, sturdy, hardwearing
Disadvantages: None for me
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)
Summary: Sturdy bookcases from Ikea
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