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Slanted Bookshelves

  • Comments 3

My wife and I enjoy reading, and we seem to acquire a lot of books. A couple of years ago, we ran out of bookshelf space, and since then, piles of books started forming around the house. Before someone had the chance to accuse me of being a hoarder, I decided it was time to build a set of bookshelves. This was last winter, and I was looking for a good excuse for an indoor project anyway. Instead of making run-of-the-mill bookshelves, I decided to mix it up a bit and build a slanted set.


Slanted bookshelves
Books won’t tip over on these bookshelves.

The set is roughly 4 ft. wide by 5 ft. tall, and there is 9-3/4 in. of space between the shelves. I bought three 1x8s, one 1x10 (all select pine) and one 4 x 8-ft. sheet of 1/4-in. AC plywood. The whole thing cost about $100, not including the paint. I played around with some scraps of wood until I found the angle I was looking for—it ended up to be about 18 degrees. I used glue and biscuits on the center joints, and fastened the rest together with 1-5/8-in. screws. I attached the plywood to the back with 1-1/4-in. screws and trimmed it to size with a flush-trim router bit.


Books are heavy, so I screwed the bookshelves to the wall with a total of twelve 2-in. screws, all of them hitting studs. All the screws are countersunk and the holes filled. I painted the plywood portion of the bookshelves the same color as my walls, which gives the shelves the illusion of hovering in space.


Altogether, it took about 10 or 12 hours to build. I’m happy with the way it turned out, but I must admit that for the first few days, I got a slight sense of vertigo every time I entered the room. The bottom line: no more piles of books, the wife is happy, and my bookend expenses have dropped significantly.


— Mark Petersen, Contributing Editor

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  • Comments
    • by posted on


    • by posted on

      im going after this one and to boot, im going to do it double sided. Instead of the angel being on the right side alone, ill do it so the angle is in the middle, with the books leaning down to the LEFT on the left side,and to the right on the right side.

      it'll look a bit like an arrow pointing UP in the center.

      Then ill toss in a few sideways "L's" across the very top so there can be like STEPS going out from center to left and right.

      Need to have some place to leave the little nick nacks ya know?

    • by posted on

      Great design! Eliminating bookends and reducing the strain on your neck when looking for a book as it is already at an angle! Wish all bookshelves were like this. Although, it seems like if you were to take the book out on the far left, the rest of the books will fall to the side with a big 'thump' and might loosen the connection at the end overtime with all the pressure of the 'thumping'.

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