A bookshelf is a popular piece of furniture due to its wide range of uses. In addition to storing books, a bookshelf can be used to stow away clothes and tools. It can also be used as a convenient place to keep boxes and cases.

Most bookshelves are made of wood. This can be either solid timber or one of the various available wood composite materials. These include chipboard and blockboard. They are often finished off in wooden ply veneer, or a suitably colored and patterned plastic covering designed to resemble real wood.

Bookshelves used in busy places such as public libraries are usually made of metal. Glass is also used in places where aesthetic beauty is desired, and the risk of breakage is low.

The quality of a bookshelf is not just dependent on the grade of material used, but also by the uniqueness and the suitability of the design. The level of workmanship involved in its construction also contributes greatly to the eventual quality of the bookshelf.

Bookshelves range in size from small ones that can be carried by one person, to large ones that cover whole walls. The size of a bookshelf depends on the space available to keep or install it. It also depends on whether it is to be permanently fixed on a wall or is to be freely movable.

It is often possible to find a good bookshelf at a flea market. It may be a bit battered, but with a bit of work, it can end up looking as good as new, and at a fraction of the cost. The joints may require some tightening. The old coat of varnish can then be rubbed off with sandpaper, and a new coat or two painted on.

Under the proper conditions of a level floor, moisture-free air, and proper use, a good bookshelf can last the life of the house that it is in. 

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