With IKEA’s 340,000 square feet of furniture, cookware and home décor to shop in, why am I making my third trip to the Tempe, Arizona store just to buy another couple dozen of their BOKIS bookends? Because I want to make every inch of my shelf space count, and I can’t buy the bookends online, that’s why. IKEA’s BOKIS bookends are exactly the width of a standard paperback book’s cover, slightly shorter than a CD jewel case, and only take up the shelf space of a CD or DVD case. The minimalist design of translucent polystyrene is inconspicuous and sturdy. The wavy shape of the upright provides enough structural strength that the bookends can hold CDs, DVDs, paperbacks or mass-market hardback books upright. The translucent plastic is almost invisible when they are in use, so they blend with any décor. The price at the retail stores … about fifty cents each.
In the past year, I have bought at least five dozen BOKIS bookends from IKEA. Even with college-age children taking some of the bookends to use in their dorms, that’s a lot of bookends. Where can I possibly use that many? Let me wander around the house and tell you what they are doing for me …
- In the dining area bookcase, of course, to keep a huge collection of Science Fiction and music CDs tidy. Of course I have a bookcase in the dining room. Doesn’t everyone?
- In the office:
> in the office bookcases to hold software manuals and programming textbooks.
> to prevent the software data CDs from falling off my roommate’s desk and onto the floor.
> to organize drafting templates and drafting tool cases on the drafting table.
> to corral the circuit boards left over from computer rebuilding until we have enough of them to make yet another computer.
> to hold mailing envelopes on a shelf.
> to keep a pile of unread computer magazines from sliding off the desk. One bookend on either side of the stack keeps the slippery things in one tidy pile.
- In the so-called media room, keeping CDs, video tapes, and DVDs in some sort of order on the entertainment center, on the window sill, on the TV, on the DVD player, and on the bookshelves. Oh dear, I think I need to tidy up the media room.
- In the sewing closet, to hold pattern envelopes upright.
- In the bedroom, to keep the night-time reading from falling off the windowsill.
- In the garage, to keep power saw blades and envelopes of sandpaper organized.
They don’t have to be invisible
If you prefer bookends that make a decorative statement, use a BOKIS bookend and then place a decorative object to hide the bookend. You can use lightweight baskets or figurines because they aren’t supporting the weight of the books.
If you have friends with hobbies, get out your glue gun and create custom bookends for them from small items related to their hobby. I’m going to hack up some old skis and glue the tips and bindings to some BOKIS bookends as gifts for my friends who ski. Sooner or later they’ll break a bone and have time to read while they heal.
For an inexpensive craft project, glue small things to the BOKIS bookends with a glue gun or glue meant for polystyrene. It could be a way to display souvenier seashells, pretty rocks, or even small toys from children’s fast-food meals.