Bibliophile’s Bookcase


With simple lines and straightforward joinery, this project yields ample shelf space (and drawers to boot).
By Megan Fitzpatrick
Pages: 46-51

From the December 2009 issue #180
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This large case-on-case shelving unit is adapted from similar pieces I’ve seen in private libraries and in stately homes. I also dug up a few pictures from the Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction sites, where the form is referred to as a “bibliotheque” (also the French word for library).

Those examples, however, all feature intricate mouldings and fancy corbels and are more adorned than would look right in my less-than-stately 1895 home. I do, however, have 10′ ceilings and an embarrassment of books, so while I didn’t want fancy, I did want big. So I reconceived the form in a Shaker-on-steroids style – the piece is just shy of 50″ wide x 90″ high. It will fit in a room with standard ceiling heights, but in case I ever needed to use the top and bottom separately, I installed a solid top for the bottom case so it can stand alone (and with the addition of a cushion, it would make a handsome hall bench).

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