One more time I am having the problem of book cases. What should I do? Should I go ahead and buy or should I build or should I leave all the thousands of books I have in boxes? You know why I am worried? I am moving once again. This is what happens each time I move. I am always in need of a new place of abode that would provide some sanity and where I can stay permanently. I have to move each time either because of a crazy landlord or a roommate who is drunk, passive, aggressive, crazy or even a thief. I really hate going through the stressful packing process. My books now stay in boxes during this period where I am not sure if the home is permanent or at least long lasting. I only put those I need on bookcases that are even makeshift bricks and boards. Some cases they are milk crates or cardboard boxes.
Finally, you can join me as I breathe a sigh of relief. Now, I am about to buy my own house. After living away from Mommy and Daddy for twenty-nine years and after moving from one house to the other thirty-something times, I am going to be getting my own house. I am now happy for my poor books as now they can get a breather too. Thankfully they have escaped the mold, bookworms, etc. What I will do now is to put them respectfully in book cases. Should I put them on built-ins? How about on prefabricated book cases? I have lots of choices, but I am also faced with the next dilemma of – which book cases style will go with it. There are endless options, really, especially when one considers the interior decorating styles such as the modern, French, Mediterranean, etc. There’s also the baroque and Goth and traditional and mission and eclectic, etc.
I seem to prefer the sturdy and understated of the Mission Style book cases. You know why? These bookcases came into existence way before the first bookcases were ever made. Today they take their influence from their purpose and their history. For Mission Style furniture, this is utilitarian at best.
It was only after the 17th century that book cases became purposefully crafted. This was when the English readers discovered the need for keeping and collecting books. That led to the use of bookcases in colleges and libraries, and homes of scholars and book lovers, according to the compilers of the Antique Collector’s Dictionary. The reading and researching world have since picked up and passed on the book case building culture. For example, Georgian breakfront (a.k.a. wing) book cases were built). These were followed by “upper stage glazed” bookcases. Then there were the Regency period dwarf bookcases.
The 19th century ended with the Mission Style bookcases, as part of the practical Mission Style sets of furniture. They can now be found in most homes, all thanks to the connection and influence of the Arts and Crafts movement that is spreading. This movement was of course, engineered in the 1920s by creative beings such as William Morris, Gustav Stickley and Frank Lloyd Wright. Today, the book cases that are the best choices are those that have simple lines and are constructed solidly.