Borders Bookshelves Repurposed

Borders shelving we removed from the walls and stacked in the loading dock area.

When we started thinking about how we were going to shelve the store, we initially thought we’d use a mix of used and custom shelves. But then we heard that Borders No. 1 downtown Ann Arbor still had lots of shelving available. So we went and checked it out and decided, let’s do this. We removed/disassembled more than 50 shelves.

Michael moving shelving through Borders No.1

The children’s area had custom-made shelves that are fabulous. They have adjustable shelves with built-in lighting (which we’ll have to re-wire). Additionally, they have a board covering the built-in lights that are painted a whimsical navy-blue with stars. We’ll try to give the new shelves some Literati personality and paint over that with chalkboard paint, making it easy to write in our sections. We’re planning to accent the store in black and white so we can to keep in line with our logo design, hence our signage in the black/white of chalkboard. This was an idea passed along by Kate McCune, a Harper Collins rep, who suggested this after Parnassus Books in Nashville instituted chalkboard signage for their sections, making it easy to switch them up if need be.

Children’s section shelving we are repurposing.
You can see the detail of the painted board over the lights here. Hoisted by the strong Mike Gustafson.
The other shelves, seen below, are standard oak units that could be found in almost all Borders stores. They are a little tall for our basement so we might have to cut them down to ensure they fit.
Standard oak shelving found throughout the store.
We also bought some display items like magazine racks, four-sided display islands, and lots of slatboard. Not only do we feel fortunate to have access to this great shelving, but we are happy to be reusing it in an eco-friendly way. And a little bit of Borders, this great Ann Arbor institution, can live on in Literati.

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