Books and the shelves that house them are as much a part of the home as the foundation upon which it sits. Some are invaluable, their leather bindings filling the rooms in which they rest, accenting the rest of the house and alerting any wandering masses that indeed, someone cultured lives here. People have a longstanding desire for story telling, first indicated by prints made on cave walls, progressing into oral stories that form the backbones of culture and civilization. The advent of the Guttenberg printing press allowed novels, memoirs, plays, and political pamphlets to be disseminated to the masses, affirming a sense of solidarity and community so crucial the world’s greatest civilizations. Grand oak bookcases were constructed in home libraries to store this treasure trove of information, aligning an entire room and relegating the bookcase a Mecca that draws the attention of all those who wish to be religiously, academically, and socially enlightened.
Even though the Internet threatens the very basis and foundation of many books, they still have still held fast as some of the most prized possessions in the home. They can be found strewn across coffee tables and chairs, perched high above a fireplace on a well-decorated mantle, or lazily cast to a sunken couch or well-worn armchair. All plucked from their original dwelling place of a beautiful oak bookcase, these books will return to the place from where they came, stacked and nestled together in neat rows. Bookcases are gateways. Towering above the rest of the room, at times reaching as high as the ceiling, bookcases are the gatekeepers to the sought after world of books. Behind each page is a story, and the bookcase protects them like the strong but gentle arms of a father, around his newborn son.
The guardian of these volumes, the right bookcase must be chosen carefully. A strong oak bookcase will not bend or buckle under heavy pressure, and the natural beauty of the wood serves a poignant reminder of the malleability of trees, as it forms both the lovingly dog-eared pages of Proust and Shakespeare, as well as the strong foundation and shelving required to support the favored works. These bookcases can be freestanding or built into the wall, a choice completely up to the homeowner. Freestanding bookcases allow for portability, in case of a big move or relocation. This way, your favorite books and bookcase can come with you, wherever life takes you.
The versatility of this piece of furniture is evident in the multiple stains available, as the oak can be colored to match the décor or any room. Moreover, these pieces are mainstays of the house, and work well to showcase the integrity of both the home, and its owner. A bookcase is nothing without books, and when shopping for one it is recommended that the homeowner visualize their favorite volumes lining the shelves of the bookcase. Height should also be taken into consideration, as although it may be more aesthetically pleasing to have an enormously tall, fully stocked bookcase, one should be able to reach the top shelf on their own, or with the assistance of a ladder common in many libraries.
A bookcase is truly and important piece to add to any home, and should be chosen carefully. The perfect stain, shape, and height can make all the difference, turning that empty spare room into the library of your dreams. Function and longevity should be at the front of the homeowner’s mind, as cheap materials can be compromised by the weight of many books. Something tougher, like oak, will last.