Juxtaposed Bookshelf by Mike and Maaike- Get Inspired

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Has it ever bugged you to look at your bookshelf and see such an uneven collection of novels? I once attempted to organize my bookshelf by height but I became so irritated by my inability to find what I was looking for (I usually organize by author) that I redid everything back to the uneven but logical style.

We found a bookshelf that takes care of that issue – and we’re thinking maybe it will inspire some of you handy readers out there.

If you’ve been collecting tools and goodies from our sponsor Rockler and you have the woodworking skills I envy, you may want to take a closer look at this very cool Juxtaposed Book Shelf from Mike & Maaike.

We first heard about San Francisco industrial designers Mike & Maaike from one of our favorite magazines, ReadyMade. Each notch in the shelf is custom-made to snuggly fit each notable book from the set so that all the books in the collection appear even in height. Two styles of the shelf were made – Power (books on creating order in civilization) and Religion (books of faith). The shelves each measure 36”w x 5”h x 8”d and include the books shown. Only 50 of each were made – and we have a feeling that the price (of $3000) might be inspiration enough for several HomeFixated.com readers to DIY this concept.

Makes for good design inspiration, right woodworkers?

Photo of author

About Jen

Jen (but never “Jenn”) Byck, aka the Fix'n Vixen, is a Toronto-based freelance writer and communication consultant who is undoubtedly home fixated (she is also TV fixated, really bad TV fixated and donut fixated). Her approach to home improvement has been rather trial and error, the latter of which is evidenced by the amount of spackle she buys on an annual basis.

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4 thoughts on “Juxtaposed Bookshelf by Mike and Maaike- Get Inspired”

  1. Hey guys its being weeks since I saw this bookshelf and that I have been inspired to create a similar shelf or actually several of them as a new home gift for my best friend according to her collection of books based on a different themes, Mind Body & Spirit. My major problem is that I have never worked on wood and have no idea what equipment I need to buy, type of wood and how to carve in the words. So if anyone out there can give me some guidance and list of stuff I need to buy, i would really appreciate it and I am brave enough to do this even though I am a women beginner and if the cost is not that high :).

    • Hi Joanne! Thanks for dropping by!
      That sounds like an awesome idea for a house warming gift.
      Reclaimed/recycled wood might be a bargain–and there is plenty out there that could be made into a really nice shelf.
      To make the shelves as seen here–you would pretty much need all the things that Justin F said in his post (sans six-pack).
      A good circular saw, belt sander, random orbital sander, and some chisels will get you in the ballpark–but be prepared to use a bit more elbow grease as far as cleaning out your cross cuts. Jen’s find has gotten me thinking…and I may take a stab at this project in the future. Stay tuned!

    • Hi Joanne, thanks for your comment. I wanted to chime in with the suggestion that maybe this particular project isn’t one that’s suited for beginners. Since you’ve never worked with wood, and this project deals with some pretty serious (and potentially dangerous) power tools, I’d really encourage you to consider a different project. This particular bookshelf also requires a great deal of precision, since the slots all need to fit specific books exactly. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if these were made using a cnc system (where a computer controls a cutting head) to carve out both the book slots as well as the text carved into the wood. If you do decide to move forward with it, I’d strongly recommend you do it with an experienced and safety-conscious woodworker at your side. Thanks again for reaching out, and for reading the article!

  2. That’s a very cool take on a bookshelf, Jen. But you’re definitely right about the price…holy cow. For that much money I could buy a tablesaw, high quality cross-cut sled, dado set, and a hunk of reclaimed wood and make my own. Probably still have enough leftover to buy a 6-pack, too!


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