Monday, July 30, 2007

Book Cases Come In Different Shapes And Sizes

Bookcases are metal or wooden structures, square or rectangular, with horizontally spaced shelves that are designed to hold books in an organized fashion. Bookcases usually stand against walls, but sometimes, as in the case of libraries and book stores, they stand centered or out in the open and back-to-back for book-seekers to encircle as they look for books on either side.

Bookcases can be arranged in four systems: wall-placement, parallel stacks or ranges, in bays or alcoves, and mobile aisle shelving.

Wall-Placement—this bookcase arrangement places shelves along the walls and allows for open space and ample movement from one bookcase to another, and all bookcases are easily accessible.

Parallel Stacks or Ranges—this bookcase arrangement system provides economy of space, such as in libraries, where such space is essential, and requires constant moving and lifting of material. Not everything is easily accessible, but open space is provided for movement and work.

Bays and Alcove—cases stick out at right angles into the room. This system of bookcase arrangement is both visually appealing and allows the advantageous use of space.

Mobile Aisle Shelving—this bookcase arrangement system features tightly packed books on shelves mounted on wheels. Only a couple of shelves are accessible at a time and set so they can be moved at will and necessity. This bookcase arrangement is utilized when space is limited and stationary bookcases would restrict book-seeker movement and cut off access to other bookcases.

History of the Bookcase

During the time manuscripts were being written, books and other literary materials were stored in coffers, which belonged to either the clergy or the wealthy. As volumes of these manuscripts accumulated, they were stored in cupboards, from which the doors were eventually removed. These were the earliest bookcases.

The oldest bookcases in England date back to the late-sixteenth century. The Bodleian Library at Oxford University displays the earliest extant samples of bookcase galleries over walls. These long ranges appear somewhat striking, and cornices and pilasters were attempted many times to be carved in the bookcases to reduce their rather plain appearance. It wasn’t until the late-eighteenth century when some English cabinet makers successfully accomplished this task.

The bookcase, a simple innovation, brought forth literary organization as well as elegance and style, as it has become more than just for book storage. Some bookcases are now favored by individuals in the architectural, engineering, and artistic subcultures, who have placed many different values on them. Bookcases are considered a distinctive marker of educated society.

About The Author
Herbert Sanchez
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