IKEA Billy Bookcase -- The Most Sold Piece Of Furniture Worldwide

IKEA Billy Bookcase
@MALUSE (32662)
Denmark
November 26, 2017 12:36pm CST
In 1979 the designer Gillis Lundgren designed a simple bookcase which got the name BILLY after the Swedish word for cheap = billig (same in German, btw). By the year 2016 77.558.438 specimens had been sold making this piece of furniture the most sold one worldwide. We've got three BILLY bookcases which have been standing side by side for more than 40 years doing without the slightest complaint what bookcases have to do, namely, hold books. This means we bought them a short time after they hit the German market, just like nearly all our friends. They were cheap then, they still are. They look good in a no-frills way. We've got some other pieces of furniture from IKEA, small ones, shelves and drawers for the kitchen and the bathroom. I've assembled them myself. I don't find this difficult and prefer doing it on my own. I couldn't assemble BILLY, of course, the different pieces are too big for one person. For your information: My husband and I survived the IKEA assembling test and are still married. One bookcase measures 80x80x202 cm (I don‘t mention inches because members from English speaking countries wouldn‘t mention centimetres, either). The bottom is 6 cm high, on it lies the first shelf. Five other adjustable shelves, each 1.8 cm high can be put in according to the wishes and needs of the users. Thusly there are six shelves to put books on. The instructions tell you, "This furniture must be fixed to the wall with the enclosed wall fastener." Sounds sensible, but we haven't done it. The whole bookcase leans slightly towards the wall, the upper part touching it. What with the weight of mostly hardcover books is has stood there bomb-proof up to now without being fastened. We've got the birch veneer variety. The veneer covers only the visible parts. Naturally, because covering the invisible parts would mean wasting money, an alien concept for IKEA. You can get Billy in different heights, widths, in birch veneer, white, dark brown and with glass doors. The depth of the shelves has always been 28 cm. There's now a new generation with a depth of 39 cm. You may think that this is just another piece of boring information. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's been the topic of heated discussions in the media. In IKEA ad speak the extra width has been introduced 'to give the customers more flexibility'. What does that mean? The Economist asked, "Does the firm truly reckon that customers will increasingly use them for ornaments, tchotchkes and the odd coffee-table tome - anything, that is, except books that are actually read?" The end of books as we know them is nigh! The end of bookcases as we know them is nigh! Who needs them if one Amazon Kindle can store 1.500 books? (My older Kindle version could stock even 4.500 books). Oh no, say the IKEA peepz, Ebooks didn't factor at all in the decision to build deeper bookcases. BILLY bookcases with the narrower shelves will still be stocked, production won't be curtailed. The deeper ones are merely an effort to respond to how customers are presently living their lives. Whatever that means. --- P.S. Photo from IKEA online catalogue.
23 people like this
22 responses
@andriaperry (32895)
• Anniston, Alabama
26 Nov
I need that wall of bookcases. I have two in the office but I would like to have four for the living room. If anything else goes on the shelves it would be a piece of silver or crystal. I don`t collect much junk anymore. EDIT : I put together all my shelves and my dining room table and chairs.
5 people like this
@MALUSE (32662)
• Denmark
26 Nov
Goody! Sometimes it's advisable to do this on one's own so that there can't be any arguments. :-)
3 people like this
@JudyEv (100393)
• Bunbury, Australia
27 Nov
I would love bookcases with doors like these. We put a very thin slat under the front of our bookcases so they lean back slightly. We don't attach them to the walls.
3 people like this
@marlina (62066)
• Canada
26 Nov
Interesting. WE have 2 bookcases here but not from IKEA. My husband and I survived the first time we put our baby crib together. But what a day!
3 people like this
@JohnRoberts (40886)
• Los Angeles, California
26 Nov
My bookcases are from IKEA and have had them since 1991.
2 people like this
@MALUSE (32662)
• Denmark
26 Nov
I bet they still look good!
3 people like this
@JohnRoberts (40886)
• Los Angeles, California
26 Nov
@MALUSE They have weathered many moves and still standing.
2 people like this
@MALUSE (32662)
• Denmark
26 Nov
@JohnRoberts That's what I assumed.
3 people like this
@NJChicaa (29852)
• United States
26 Nov
That just looks like a lot of space to have to dust to me.
2 people like this
@MALUSE (32662)
• Denmark
26 Nov
If you're a duster, yes. I'm not, I rarely dust. There are smaller items, too. You don't have to buy this whole 'wall'.
3 people like this
@Platespinner (18472)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
27 Nov
I have Ikea bookshelves and other book shelves. All of my shelves are overflowing with books. Oddly enough, most people I know think I'm a bit eccentric because my bookshelves are full of books instead of dust-collecting bric-a-brac. I also have a Kindle full of books. My husband thanks I have a problem .
2 people like this
@valmnz (13137)
• New Zealand
26 Nov
I'd love to have the space to have a bookcase such as the one above. Instead I'm content with a smaller bookcase in nearly every room in the house!
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (81315)
• United States
26 Nov
Those are really nice-looking bookcases. Wider depths, I suppose, could provide for a mix of items in those handy bookcases. I have quite a few pieces of Ikea furniture here. I have had no trouble putting the pieces together by myself.
2 people like this
@Madshadi (4537)
• Brussels, Belgium
26 Nov
They look really nice but too big for my living room. Besides, all the books in my house wouldn't fill one row. I have three shelves above my fireplace where i keep my books.
2 people like this
@1hopefulman (20187)
• Canada
26 Nov
IKEA has more than one good idea. Over the years, I have bought a few pieces there and have been very satisfied. There is an IKEA a few minutes drive from where I live.
2 people like this
@sabtraversa (9793)
• Italy
26 Nov
It's the first time I hear the word "tchotchke", so it derives from Yiddish. My bookshelf has books, and 'stuffed toys'. I've never assembled IKEA furniture by my own, but I helped my parents with that. I don't know when we'll need to buy more, because we moved to a furnished home and we're planning to move soon, furnished again. Less trouble, but I like to be free to 'personalize' my own space.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (32662)
• Denmark
26 Nov
Yes, tchotchke is Yiddish. I like the sound of it. Yet, I doubt that many Americans know the term. Maybe some old people in New York do.
2 people like this
@Marty1 (26600)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
26 Nov
@MALUSE I know the term tchotchke and I am not an older perosn from new york! =) I have looked it up in the past from reading the word. But am afraid i am unable to pronounce it. I like both Kindle and books and have plenty of ebooks on my Kindle and tons of books in different areas piled with them. I need a Billy of i had space for it, that is!
1 person likes this
@RasmaSandra (13379)
• Riga, Latvia
26 Nov
I love the look of that bookcase. I will never tire of real books and I will never have a Kindle or anything like that. So if and when I get to the states and settle down I will have to check out IKEA.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (32662)
• Denmark
26 Nov
I read real books and also have a kindle. There doesn't have to be a conflict.
2 people like this
@RasmaSandra (13379)
• Riga, Latvia
26 Nov
@MALUSE never said there had to be a conflict just that I prefer reading books as opposed to reading them on a Kindle. I do find the idea interesting because if I had all of the books here on a Kindle I would have no problem when it came to moving now when the time comes I have to find out what I will do with all of the books.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (115036)
• Boise, Idaho
27 Nov
I used to dream of big expanses of books. This was very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
1 person likes this
@FayeHazel (11533)
• United States
26 Nov
How interesting about the origin of the name. I am happy you were able to not get divorced while assembling the book case. I hate those projects, lol!
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (121318)
• Switzerland
27 Nov
We placed the Billy bookcase (in two different heights) as understairs storage. We passed the Ikea assembly test, this one was not hard. Assembling two chairs has been a little more complicated, but we survived.
@MALUSE (32662)
• Denmark
27 Nov
The IKEA system of assembly is well thought through.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (121318)
• Switzerland
27 Nov
@MALUSE Most of the time it's not hard to assemble their furniture, but the chairs were a real pain.
@GardenGerty (90955)
• Marion, Kansas
27 Nov
I like the image you have posted. I would opt for the more shallow shelves, I believe, but I have never been to IKEA. There is one near my daughter, so perhaps I should go sometime.
@MALUSE (32662)
• Denmark
27 Nov
IKEA is worthwhile a visit!
@LoriAMoore (9949)
• United States
29 Nov
It's pretty. I've never been to an IKEA store or owned IKEA furniture.
• United States
29 Nov
I LOVE IT and really could use one of those but to accommodate the length of the wall it must be in the way of the television screen, hmmmm what a dilemma. Thank goodness the site can show you which dimensions these built in book cases will accommodate up to. Thanks @MALUSE and what a stunning piece of furniture too
@bunnybon7 (33025)
• Holiday, Florida
27 Nov
i had one i moved around with for years. but alas really had to size down last move so had to give it up. they are quite useful and very nice to have
@m_audrey6788 (11601)
• Germany
27 Nov
We have some little bookcases here for our little quantity of books at home