The Darwin household has reached the point were several dozen books are stacked on the floor, and since all available wallspace in the livingroom is already lined with half-height Ikea shelving, it is time for full-height shelves.
However, since cash and time and not quite as scarce as they once were (and because I'm always a sucker for a project) I'm looking at starting to build my own shelving. There's not a whole lot truly nice furniture in the Darwin household, but there is one very nice bookshelf that we inherited from my grandmother, and the design seems like one that could be copied fairly successfully with a bit of care and attention. (I tried looking at the sort of stuff available through unfinished furniture stores, but I wasn't impressed with their design -- most of the shelves featured a frame around all four edges which made it impossible to see or pull out books in the outside inch on either side of a shelf.)
So I headed down to Fine Lumber and Plywood Inc. here in town on Memorial Day to get prices, and the plan is to head down after work today and pick up wood so I can get going. And being the sort of creature I am, I then set up a spreadsheet that allows me to vary the height, width, number of shelves and type of wood and then automatically recalculate the price.
In the end, it looks like building all-hardwood bookshelves is expensive enough that I'm thinking I should go all the way: 7ft tall, 3.5ft wide. I'm looking at soft maple or African mahogany, with red oak as a runner up -- but it's not that much cheaper than the maple and it has a rougher and more common look. I'd wanted to look at beech, to match the inherited shelf, but I'm not seeing it anywhere. And I considered cherry but it was far too expensive.
Assuming it doesn't turn into a total trainwreck, I may do some progress posts on the project over the next few weeks.