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Paperback Bookcase, Cutting Building Costs

October 06, 1985|Dale Baldwin

Paperback books present a special storage problem, both in size and quantity.

They are usually much shallower--typically a little more than 4 inches deep--than hardbound books and they seem to breed overnight. All too often, paperbacks end up stored two deep on your regular bookshelves--a situation that should be intolerable to any one who actually uses books.

One solution is to design and build special bookshelves for paperback book storage. The shelves illustrated here are modular units that sit flush with the sill of a picture window, 30 inches high.

They take up little space, being constructed of pine that is nominally six inches wide, but is actually a half inch narrower. Compared with eight-inch-wide or larger shelves for hardbound books, these petite storage units take up virtually no room, especially when they occupy what is in effect dead space under a window.

Since the shelf units pictured are only 40 inches wide, they don't require any vertical bracing or even backs. For additional rigidity, you might consider a back of one-quarter-inch plywood or hardboard; the units pictured don't have backs, but some people prefer backs on their bookshelves.

The units shown have dadoes for the shelves, with the separation being determined by using actual books. It's best to put the larger books at the bottom, with smaller ones at the top.

Tom Horsfall of Owner Builder Services will speak at 8 p.m. Oct. 15 at Les Freres Taix Restaurant, 1911 Sunset Blvd., about building two new homes for $23 a square foot, typically half the industry cost. Horsfall is a licensed contractor. The program is sponsored by the Los Angeles and Orange county chapters of the Society of American Value Engineers. The energy-efficient houses were built in San Fernando by students in Horsfall's classes.

The October issue of Consumer Reports magazine has a special group of articles on "Winter Energy Savings," dealing with topics as diverse as chimney fires, indoor pollution caused by too-tight houses, high-efficiency wood stoves, wood-stove pollution, heat-recovery ventilators, heat pumps, energy-saving thermostats and other subjects. The articles are well worth reading, especially if you are considering making a major change in your heating system.

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