According to This Old House, common default depth for single-depth built-in bookcase units is 11" to 12". I have to make a built-in for a sitting room off of a bedroom, and there is just 18" of space inside the windows on the back wall. has some good design resources for furniture, check out they suggest 10-12" deep as a common standard, they also have some good information on how wide vs how thick your shelf stock is, etc. I would not go under 11 inches for a shelf though. Then I'd go the 11.25" route (1x12 boards) or do the full 12" or a bit more if you are using plywood cut to size. Today that bookshelf is overflowing, I built it about 3 years ago. How to solve this puzzle of Martin Gardner? And note that you want the shelf to be able to handle your larger books, not you average book. For example: Thanks @Jack - I am going to make the top shelves 9.5" to optimize my plywood usage. They are called coffee table books for a reason. I'm starting on the design tonight. All that's needed after that is to build the bookcase accordingly. This works well for most of my books and optimizes the usage of the 4'x8' sheet of plywood. Sometimes I use hardwood veneer plywood and other times I have used solid hardwood such as Cherry or Walnut. The suggestion of a break front is a way to have it both ways. I have always used 11 1/2 inches on all bookshelves I have made that are part of a standing bookcase. This is too broad the way it is written. The IKEA Billy bookcase series is a classic design with an emphasis on functionality and flexibility. Nov 16, 2014 - This Pin was discovered by Bas Bleu Bookseller. That will also give me deeper shelves above the center base cabinet, which will increase versatility. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service. What does commonwealth mean in US English? Note: Cutting 4x8 sheets of 3/4" plywood on a portable tablesaw is very challenging especially when the lumber yard's table saw is broken! On solid hardwood shelves this is not necessary. OOP implementation of Rock Paper Scissors game logic in Java. By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy. What happens if someone casts Dissonant Whisper on my halfling? Over the last 40 years, I have probably made about a dozen different bookcases for family and friends. I walked around my existing book collection with a tape measure and determined that 9.5" inches will work for a) paperbacks b) average size other books c) binders. If you intend to stick around, please take. You could measure all the the books you have and take an average for your depth. By doing the breakfront, I can make the center portion as deep as I want, probably ~24", and recess the wings to fit the 18" depth. Another possible option would be to query the Library of Congress (via API?) Do other planets and moons share Earth’s mineral diversity? They can be 15" or more across. In the lower left corner is a boxed set of Calvin & Hobbes Collection and it extends over the shelf by about 1/4 of an inch. Also, consider the books you will use it for. rev 2020.11.24.38066, The best answers are voted up and rise to the top, Woodworking Stack Exchange works best with JavaScript enabled, Start here for a quick overview of the site, Detailed answers to any questions you might have, Discuss the workings and policies of this site, Learn more about Stack Overflow the company, Learn more about hiring developers or posting ads with us. It only takes a minute to sign up. Why is it easier to carry a person while spinning than not spinning? How much deeper than "most books" have previous shelves been? I would make the bookshelf a "breakfront", the 2 lower shelves 12" deep above a 4" base or toespace, and step the front back at the 30-32" height and make the remaining shelves, 8, maybe 10" deep. How do we get to know the total mass of an atmosphere? It is the dimensions of how books will fit and fill a wall that make the room. FWIW all the Ikea bookcases are 11" total (so slightly less inside with the backing). The tables below are a reference for all common lumber / shelf board sizes. Is it illegal for a police officer to buy lottery tickets? I think book shelves are built that deep to make it more difficult for them to tip over as the books are usually towards the back and the shelves are against a wall. SE is not a regular threaded comment, it's a Q&A venue and you've posted where only a formal Answer to the original Question should go. Shelving is an investment in one's books and reading as much as it is in the value of the home itself. All of the tabulated sizes are readily available at most … your own Pins on Pinterest Hi, welcome to StackExchange. I have book shelves from two European manufactures. I am planning on building a bookcase and some previous attempts have resulted in shelves that are too deep for most books. This is a rather old question that bubbled up from the depths, so this is too late for OP, but might help others: Head over to the. In the photo below, one of my bookcases, solid Cherry, has shelves 11 1/4 inches deep. As for the original question, let your aesthetic sense be your guide. In a kids room, I'd make them extra deep. to see what the average/median dimensions are for books in the past 30 years. Why did MacOS Classic choose the colon as a path separator? Was the theory of special relativity sparked by a dream about cows being electrocuted? IKEA Billy Bookcases come in … Is there a average depth that would work best? How to sustain this sedentary hunter-gatherer society? I walked around my existing book collection with a tape measure and determined that 9.5" inches will work for a) paperbacks b) average size … As with any … How do you cut a 4x8 in half without a panel saw? For what modules is the endomorphism ring a division ring? For example would a 9 inch deep shelf fit for most books and standard paper (8.5 x 11)? Books of what type? Surely the way to approach this is to measure your books and decide the clearance from the front that you like and bingo, you have your perfect depth? Shelf spacing varies depending on the size of the books you plan to keep in the bookshelf. The plan is to build base cabinets, with bookshelves sitting on top. There may be a common, perhaps even typical, shelf depth for a bookcase but I've yet to see it myself, so an average of the various depths that are manufactured might result in a shelf as unsatisfactory (for some books certainly, perhaps even for all books) as your previous builds. This gives the shelf strength to prevent sagging from heavy books. That breakfront comment was genius. to compensate for the 'wobbly' nature of a skinnier bookcase I just used some large brackets to anchor the bookcase into a stud. Still, in my base cabinet with shelves on top project, laying those books down with the spine out on the lowest level of the shelf structure, directly on top of the base cabinet top, is a useful and attractive way to store them. Solve for parameters so that a relation is always satisfied, Looking for a function that approximates a parabola. The 18" is smaller than I would like for the base, especially since it defines the depth of the top, which will overhang, not the depth of the base cabinets. Modern hardback novels or vintage/antique books? The depth that "works best" is... the depth that works best, for you. Book sizes might vary by country, but a table of traditional sizes can be found at, Discover (and save!) Both standard lumber sizes & white melamine shelving sizes are shown. Standard paperpacks or oversized ones? For your last implicit question, search for "sheet" in the previous Q&A. Depends on your books. That's your new number. site design / logo © 2020 Stack Exchange Inc; user contributions licensed under cc by-sa. In Monopoly, if your Community Chest card reads "Go back to ...." , do you move forward or backward? Even assuming you mean regular paperbacks I don't think an average is the way to look at this. Other books on that shelf also come closer to edge. To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers. People don't put them on shelves. What's the implying meaning of "sentence" in "Home is the first sentence"? The ones I built last time used 1x12's; that's overkill but it does handle some oversized art books and lets me put two rows of paperbacks on a shelf (one upright, another tilted back in front of them).