For more than two years, I’ve had a stack of books under my windowsill that just kept on growing. After deciding that I didn’t want to live like a college student anymore, I started to look online for a bookshelf that would fit in a narrow space next to my closet. But I couldn’t find anything that I liked that fit the specifications and was affordable. And then one night, A. suggested we build one.
Excited to work on a project, I sent him photos of four bookcases I found online — and he noted they all had a “panel” theme. I also liked the idea of reclaimed wood, so I looked for a place in the area to buy it, but was having trouble (it seems that reclaimed wood is expensive).
So in May, we took a trip to Home Depot. We calculated the size of the bookcase (17.5 inches wide) and bought enough slabs of poplar to make it. We bought screws, a power sander and stain. And then we went at it. We measured and cut the wood with A.’s circular saw on the balcony of his Virginia apartment. (A. made me wear safety glasses whenever I used a power tool.) We sanded the wood and tested the stain on scraps. Then we stained the slabs — I slathered it on, and A. wiped it off. And on Labor Day, we drilled holes in the right spots, screwed and nailed it all together — to make this! A beauty, if I do say so myself. And now completely full of books.