How to Select Bookshelves for the Serious Collector
Serious collectors spend hours fretting over how to best display their books, whether their library is made up of rare and antiquarian books, encyclopedias, first edition hardcovers, trade paperbacks, or vintage mass-market paperbacks. Some treat their libraries as a display, others regularly consult them either for work or for pleasure. Some prefer to display a carefully curated selection alongside other antiques and collectibles, while others hope for a place that can contain their unwieldy and esoteric interests. There are many considerations a serious collector should keep in mind when deciding on a bookshelf, including design, type of wood, stain, and location.
Design – The design you choose will reflect your personality and the relationship you have with your library or your collection. For antiques and collectibles, bookcases with glass doors are a great way to display your prized possessions without leaving them exposed. Antiquarian book collectors may also want to take advantage of glass doors combined with a higher number of shelves in order to preserve the condition of their library. If you’re more practically minded and want a place to store books you frequently consult, consider a sleeker design that fits well in offices. Consult our full catalogue of bookshelves to decide which one will work best for you.
Wood – The type of wood you choose depends on how you plan to use the shelves and how much weight they are going to bear. With a Woodcraft bookshelf, you can choose from five different types: maple, wormy maple, pine, oak, and cherry. Pine is typically a more affordable material that works well with many different stains, but it is not advisable if you plan on storing heavy books. It’s a pliable material that will bend under enough stress, and you can also dent it if you are not careful. Oak is a better option for the collector who is mad about his library or keeps complete collections of heavy encyclopedias. Cherry is another popular option for those who are interested in creating an elegant display case, because of the way it ages. Because its colour naturally darkens over time toward a warm brown or red, some prefer not to stain cherry at all, but let it evolve over time. It’s a highly sought-after material among antique collectors because there is no way to truly fabricate the effects of time on cherry.
Stain – We offer a wide range of stains at Woodcraft for you to select from, and much of it relies on your personal taste, as well as the prevailing colours of the room. If you want to create a clean, austere look, a white or grey stain can create a neutral effect that leaves the focus on the books themselves. Red or Brazilian cherry stains give a feeling of warmth to a room, while lighter shades of brown can be used to complement rustic atmospheres. You could also use espresso or ebony black for a professional effect in your office or your study at home.
Location – Finally, decide on the ideal location for your shelves: typically, you can find a bookcase in an office, study, living room, or bedroom, depending on whether they’re used for display, personal and private use, or for work. There are a number of tips for displaying books themselves that can enhance their aesthetic value in your home, as well. Wherever your place your bookcase, make sure you get a custom case that fits your taste and fills you with pride every time you go to consult your collection. The team at Woodcraft can help you find it.