Acquisitions | Haunted by Shelves

A couple months back, we had a few friends over, ordered a pizza and were about to crack open some beers when our old bookcase started to crack - and then completely collapsed, spilling 144 square feet of books, World of Interiors, Italian Vogue and a DVD collection that rivals the cumulative video library of most fraternities into the kitchen and onto Porter's bed. Porter - the only one of us to try to break the fall - was scathed, however.  Her pinky finger was sliced quite badly, leaving a quite gruesome path of blood (in the weeks following, she asked the manicurist to just paint around the bandaid). It also left our apartment in a state of chaos.

But, last weekend, we popped into Moon River Chattel and saw a glorious set of cubby holes made of what appeared to be reclaimed wood. After an epic battle on Saturday (involving saws and six men), that 6.5' x 9' set is in the apartment - standing strong - slowing getting filled and organized. 

Let's just hope they stay that way. These shelves, it turns out, have a past more gruesome than our last set: They spent most of their years holding stuff inside the (supposedly haunted) Taunton, Mass. Insane Asylum.


  1. what a nightmare! a good friend had the same thing happen in her kitchen, all her glorious 30s/40s and 50s kitch that she has been collecting at southern california flea markets for decades destroyed in a matter of seconds.

    Good thing no one was seriously injured in either incident. Makes me think of Newton. Juice Newton.

  2. yikes! wishinb a quick healing for Porter.... Nice...Insane Asylum shelves!
    I think about this happening to me all the time...most of my "shelves" are old, and books are heavy...I wonder if my few Ikea shelves, made of sawdust and concrete will hold together longer than the pretty old ones...

  3. Unknown says:

    I resemble your problem -- only solution I have found that is physically strong enough has been 1 x 10 (or 12) in. board in 30 in. spans, supported by steel uprights concealed in stained 2 x 4's. and lining entire room walls. Almost everything sold commercially is just not strong enough to support real books...

    Don't know if you have come across this blog:
    Photoblog porn for book lovers, shelf photos from around the world

  4. Kimberly says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Kimberly says:

    nice! Made me think about these bookshelves in the March 2011Anthropologie catalog My man friend is stealing their idea & building some like it for himself.

  6. brohammas says:

    Sounds like a pretext fro the next Hovey murder mystery night.

  7. Eeeks, I've seen the buildings that once were the home of the Taunton, MA Insane Asylum....creeeeeeeppppy! Hopefully your fabulous library will scare away the boogie monsters....

  8. GoldenDay says:

    Great new shelves! I ended up building a new set of shelves for myself. After moving them twice, my tacky Billys started listing badly. Now I'm about to build even more.

  9. boocat says:

    Thank God that was all that happened. Porter might have been seriously hurt. Your chihuahua might have been killed, if you had one.

  10. those are some hauntingly awesome shelves-pun not really intended.

  11. Anonymous says:

    i used to go and "hangout" at that insane asylum when i was in high school, it was very close to where i went...what a small, weird world! they look great!

  12. Erica says:

    Great new shelves! Made me think about these bookshelves in the March 2011Anthropologie catalog.

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