Three Simple Steps to a “Book Counter”

Someone asked me recently about “interesting” projects I’ve worked on at steveworks. There are many projects I’ve enjoyed and think are beautiful, but the most interesting one has to be the “book counter” at Newtonville Books.

We had worked with the store owners several times over the years, both at their home and at the original Newtonville location. When they moved to their current location in Newton Centre they asked us to renovate the new space.  Although the vast majority of our work is residential, this project was intriguing enough to pull us out of our comfort zone.

We had previously added casters to some of their bookcases so they could be moved around as needed. We did more of these, added shelving around the perimeter – reusing as much of the shelving from the old store as possible — then built display racks and a checkout counter.

The checkout counter is the real showstopper. The owners had seen a picture of a counter wrapped in books at a store in Australia – why not have one of their own? Why not indeed? There was only one problem. Anyone that knows me knows that I love books. Absolutely LOVE them. So, while I thought the idea of a book counter was great, it was very difficult for me to actually put it together.

  • Step One: (not me!) Our carpentry crew built the actual structure, including storage and a gorgeous wood countertop.
  • Step Two: (this is where I came in) Unpack 22 boxes of hard cover books. That’s about 600 total books. (Anyone want to count for me next time you’re there?  I’d love to know the precise number.)
  • Step Three: Using a chop saw, cut “half books” to fill in the ends of rows. Even though these books were remainders, cutting them was hard for this booklover! However, it was much better than sending them to a landfill. And I did toughen up and even start to enjoy it by the time I was done. (What does that say about me, I wonder?)
  • Step Four: Spend TWO VERY LONG DAYS nailing and gluing books into place.

Piece of cake! I love the finished counter. It’s the perfect addition to this wonderful book store!

View the “New Shelves” project