Slanted Bookshelves

Add a touch of playfulness to your reading space.

My wife and I enjoy reading, and we seem to acquire a lot of books. A couple of years ago, we ran out of bookshelf space, and since then, piles of books started forming around the house. Before someone had the chance to accuse me of being a hoarder, I decided it was time to build a set of bookshelves. This was last winter, and I was looking for a good excuse for an indoor project anyway. Instead of making run-of-the-mill bookshelves, I decided to mix it up a bit and build a slanted set.

Slanted bookshelves

Books won’t tip over on these bookshelves.

The set is roughly 4 ft. wide by 5 ft. tall, and there is 9-3/4 in. of space between the shelves. I bought three 1x8s, one 1×10 (all select pine) and one 4 x 8-ft. sheet of 1/4-in. AC plywood. The whole thing cost about $100, not including the paint. I played around with some scraps of wood until I found the angle I was looking for—it ended up to be about 18 degrees. I used glue and biscuits on the center joints, and fastened the rest together with 1-5/8-in. screws. I attached the plywood to the back with 1-1/4-in. screws and trimmed it to size with a flush-trim router bit.

Books are heavy, so I screwed the bookshelves to the wall with a total of twelve 2-in. screws, all of them hitting studs. All the screws are countersunk and the holes filled. I painted the plywood portion of the bookshelves the same color as my walls, which gives the shelves the illusion of hovering in space.

Altogether, it took about 10 or 12 hours to build. I’m happy with the way it turned out, but I must admit that for the first few days, I got a slight sense of vertigo every time I entered the room. The bottom line: no more piles of books, the wife is happy, and my bookend expenses have dropped significantly.

— Mark Petersen, Contributing Editor

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