The local library where I live, can unfortunately only be described as bleak. There are a couple of boxes of children's books, likely donated, and not very many at all of any quality. Additionally, the books are often torn, grubby and in very poor shape. Combine this with the fact that I teach my sons at home, and love books - and we have ended up with quite a collection. As it grows, I find myself forever seeking out more storage space. I also prefer shelves to toy boxes as children can easily see and select the toy they want, without emptying a whole chest on the floor. So once again, we went to Ikea for storage solutions.
Although we have three Billy bookcases already, and are quite happy with them, they seemed to large for the place I wanted to put these. I wanted something with an open back, to show the wall murals through (the entire room is hand painted in a prehistoric scene). Additionally, my oldest has a tv in his room, and a wii which was meant to belong to both boys, but is always in his bedroom. When I was able to get a wii with a couple of games and accessories for £35, I snapped it up as x-mas gift for my youngest. I gave him the tv from my room, but he needed a place to put it, so I was looking for unit versatile enough for a tv and games, books and toys.
We chose two of these laiva units, in large part due to price. These cost us £15.31 each. These do have a back at the top and bottom of the units, but I left this off. Another selling factor in buying these is the fact that the supports on the side come in two pieces. You run a pin up the middle and screw these together. However we only fully assembled one set. This made one tall unit with 5 shelves. For the second unit, we did not attach the sides together, but instead made two smaller units, one with 3 shelves and one with 2. The bottom set of shelves was turned upside down so it would have the wee support piece at the top, and all three top sections would match at least. The three sections were then screwed together and attached to the wall, with supplied wall fasteners. So what I now have is a nice stepped wall unit which is roughly 65" at the highest part and 24" for the lower shelves. I measure it as 72" long and 9.5" wide. The unit is a nice light coloured wood like finish, which they refer to as birch effect.
Overall, I am very happy with these shelves - and my son is even happier, having his own tv now, books in his room and a nice place for toys. Of course I would have preferred natural hardwood, but we all known I would be paying a lot more than £30.62 for a real hardwood shelf unit like this. This does appear sturdy and well made and was assembled with little difficulty ( no swear words total assembly time under 2 hours and that was with plenty of tea breaks). The instructions are basically all in cartoon form. You do get a couple of lines in several languages informing you that the shelves should be attached to a wall using the supplied fasteners. If the fixing device is not suitable for the walls in your home, you are advised to contact a local hardware shop. I think this is just there way out of it if anything goes wrong ( you used the wrong fasteners). Everything else is very simple though, and I imagine the average 10 year old could figure this out easily enough.
I would certainly recommend these shelves for average home use. I would note though, they are not meant for very heavy items. The maximum weight per shelf is 15kg, or 33 lbs. When we first installed the Billy bookshelves, I was surprised to learn my sons were using them as ladder/ climbing frame. They have not done this since they were told not to though, so this time I made sure to tell them immediately these shelves are not for climbing!