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T8522_Bookcases_160A few weeks ago, I went down to our basement and was greeted by a large sloppy pile of back issues of Martha Stewart Living. A plastic shelf pin had sheared off, pulling the rest of the flimsy hardware out of the cheap particleboard bookcase, avalanching issues full of advice on keeping canaries and recipes for grilled striped bass across the floor.

It was not a Good Thing.

I love the look of a full bookcase; the unread volumes promise adventure ahead, while those already read are often lifelong companions and comfort. What I don’t love are the catenary curves flimsy particleboard shelves from the big-box store take under the weight of even a few books.

It’s time to start building some real bookcases. A bookcase is basically a box – but like most things in woodworking, the details make all the difference.

The five articles collected in our new digital magazine, Bookcases, will show you how to build an array of bookcases, from small stylish homes for your books to large showpieces – and it’s only $3.99.



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