With school just around the corner, teachers and parents are hitting their local store aisles and the virtual aisles in search of products to make their year go smoother. For me, organization is the key to my sanity, and our kids’ bookshelf was in desperate need of attention.
Though I carefully organized it when we moved in a year ago, it has become a constant battle to keep it so. It’s large enough to store all of their books; however, the 2 year old could never find the book she was looking for without pulling out at least half of the books and leaving them on the floor for me to put away. This was driving me insane. On top of that, our 5 year old would avoid the books on the shelf altogether. So I needed to find a way to make the books easily seen and easily accessible for both kids – for our daughter to stop pulling them all out and for my son to be enticed to read them.
A book display was my proposed solution. For the last year or two, I have been researching book displays, but found most did not have ample storage room for all of our book collection. I needed more than just a pretty display of books. I needed something functional. Then I came across Guidecraft’s 4-sided wooden library. It brings together the best of both worlds – the shelved bookcase and the book display. I could display my kids’ very favorite books on one side, use the other display side for other books on a rotational basis, and then store the remaining books on the shelves.
Guidecraft makes high quality products that are ideal for a classroom setting – products that can withstand years of use and abuse. So I felt confident that this bookcase would be a great investment for us.
It came completely disassembled, but my husband (and 2 year old daughter) quickly got to work – it took about 40 minutes from start to finish. It was simple to put together, but he said it would have gone much faster had it not been for the extra “help.” Take a look at the instructions online.
It has 2 display sides with 3 sections each (approximately 2.5 inches deep) – lots of visual display of books that are easily accessible. Plus, it has 2 sides of traditional bookshelves (3 shelves each). The shelves are 11.25 inches deep, 15 inches wide and are adjustable in height, so it can fit your largest of books with ease. Measuring 23.5 (width) x 23.5 (depth) x 43 (height) inches, it allows for more than enough storage room. The unit actually takes us less space than my old bookcase, but fits so much more!
Because of its 4 sides, multiple kids could use it simultaneously. With low and high shelves, it allows easy access for tots and older kids alike. We use the bottom shelves for the 8 month old to grab his own books and toys, the middle shelves for the toddler, and the top shelves for our Kindergartener. What makes this bookcase even better is that it is mobile (heavy duty dual-wheeled casters). Even with the bookcase full, the unit is easy to move.
Although it is more compact than our old bookcase, it takes up a lot of room, as it needs to be far enough away from any walls to allow for 360 degrees of access. So before purchasing this, make sure you have the space it requires – I would say at least 18 inches beyond all 4 sides, making it an area of approximately 41 x 41 inches.
Since we most likely will never need to cart the unit around the house, the wheels are not necessary for us (I can see where it would be a bonus for a classroom setting, though). Instead, I wish that it had a turntable underneath. That would make it better for smaller spaces, since you could spin the bookcase instead of having to leave enough space to walk around all 4 sides.
BUY IT! This 4-sided bookcase is an investment at $290. But knowing that Guidecraft products are beautifully crafted and usually those that last through multiple kids (if not generations), this is something that I could feel okay about spending a tad bit extra on. If this isn’t the right unit for you, Guidecraft has an assortment of book displays to fit your needs and dimensional constraints.
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