I bought some Billy bookshelves for the livingroom some years ago. I picked their beech colour… and then they discontinued it.
While I love the look, and the reconfigurability of the moveable shelves and the fact that you can always buy more (well, except in beech, so not really in my case), I can’t say I’m impressed by the strength of the shelves.
Some of the longer (80cm) shelves of the two bookshelves are noticeably flexing under the weight. Perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise — they’re obviously built down to a price.
It may be time to have a clear out of old books (I can see a few in the pic that I suspect we don’t read anymore), and switch the contents around and put some lighter items on the long shelves. Do other people with Billy bookcases have this problem?
This article says that Ikea has been upgrading Billy: including stronger shelves. I wonder if this is why they discontinued the Beech colour? Perhaps it was more susceptible to bowing?
Ikea is a worldwide operation, but it’s unclear if/when the upgrade made it to Australia (the above link and this article indicate they started shipping them in North America in August 2014), but I’ve been pondering more Billys anyway for a neighbouring room, as the shelf options mean they are more space-efficient than the current bookshelves.
I could fill the wall with the shorter Billy option. It’d be more expensive (45% more, since it’s $69 for 40cm vs $95 for 80cm), but hopefully avoid any future shelf strength issues — and they’re not really expensive.
On the other hand the old solid wood bookcases I have are pretty tough, probably inherently superior to any Billy wood veneer bookcases, so perhaps I just need to stick with what I have, and re-arrange things to be more efficiently shelved.
Are there other good, widely-available, affordable options which include configurable shelves?