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15 May 2016

Memorandum Monday - The Case of the Bookcase Dilemma

Hello, ladies, I'm posting a bit early this week.  I have a dilemma. You can help.  I am working on finally getting our son’s old bedroom on our second floor changed from a drop-anything-you-do-not-want-to-deal-with-here zone, to a proper guest bedroom.  One thing to be addressed – the books currently shelved in the closet.

I took hubby to see some oak bookcases at a local consignment shop.  I had been mulling over purchasing them for several weeks, waiting for a scheduled price drop.  When we went back on Friday, they were still there, but upon further looking we found another set.  Here’s the dilemma:

Set 1: These are pretty, but only the front panels are real oak, everything else is laminated particle board including the sides. Hubby had noticed the difference, I had not. As you can see they are more suited for display cases than book cases.  In fact that top shelf on the left doesn’t go all the way back because a light is tucked there.  These would still hold a good amount of books on the two open shelves and inside the doored bottoms.  These also are very much in style with what we have in our living/music room on the first floor.


Set 2:  These are solid oak, sides and shelves included, with laminate only on the back.  They are actually very close in color to the first set (medium honey oak, like other pieces in our house.)  But these were much nearer to windows, photographing much lighter.  They lack any decorative trim, but they have a more solid feel, a more contemporary look and would hold many more books.  The shelves on these are nice and deep, so collectibles could sit in front of the books.


The two sets cost exactly the same amount – unreasonably inexpensive.  It makes me a little sad, considering how much brand new, lesser quality furniture would be, that young people don’t appreciate older things. But also a little happy for budget-conscious me.

My basic plan for the bedroom is a queen bed and a desk for hubby to use for his volunteer work, which he currently now does at the kitchen table.  But first we have to do something about storage. We have things to be put into the closet, so the books need to come out.  I have been slowly downsizing my collectibles but there are some still boxed in the closet.  We are still collecting books, although at a much slower pace than before.

So what would you do?  Opt for just pretty or solve the storage problem more completely with practicality?  Come on, don’t be shy.  Give me an honest opinion – hubby is no help as he is fine with either option.  I have changed my mind almost daily.

PS  My dilemma was almost tripled.  We found a bookcase that matches son’s old bedroom furniture too.  Luckily there was only one, so it wouldn’t work for me.  We sent him a picture in case he was interested for his bedroom.

So that’s what’s NEW in my world, a decided lack of decision making.  So leave me an honest opinion and then scoot around to Sian @FromHighInTheSky and friends to see what’s new with them.  Happy Memorandum Monday!


  1. Yes!! Older furniture is much better quality - so sad. I would go for the decorative ones and refinish!! I saw some amazing ideas on pinterest for refinishing old furniture. When I saw the first picture I instantly thought of what could be done with those beautiful units. The particle board may make it hard to work with. Good luck and make sure to share what you do. :)

  2. We;;, new bookshelves are always good (and you aren't the first Monday-er I've said this to this week) but given a choice, I'd go for the ones which are going to hold more. Because there is nothing more disappointing than loading in all the books and discovering you don't have space left for any new ones

  3. I'm a little late here to get in on the discussion. But as I see it, the open shelves seem a little more masculine. Besides books, it could also hold a few of your "boys" things!!