I opened my own bookstore, and I made a beautiful arch out of recycled books

I own an independent bookstore and acquire many books that are just at the end of their lives. Old investment books from before the financial crisis, books with torn bindings, or missing pages start piling up in the corner. So, I decided to get creative and turn these books into something fun.

I built a frame out of 2×4’s and plywood to provide a stable base. I added rows of books and used a pneumatic framing nailer to secure the books to the frame and to each other. I had to cut the books with a miter saw to fill in the odd spaces. This was a team effort, and took over 4 weeks to complete!

The upper ‘rainbow’ section is paperback books arranged and cut into blocks. The colors are from the publishers, and I did not paint them.

I included some books by some of my favorite authors including Neil Gaiman (well, the store is named after Sandman Comics), Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series, Andrew Smith’s Ignition (local author), and Christine Featuring Catherine Rusch.

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Arc Project Complete at Sandman Books!

The rough structure of the book arch is made of 2×4 and OSB. Each side is 2 feet.

Kitty Von Kenobi inspects the book arch.

I used a framing nailer to attach the books to the frames. More than 10,000 nails were used in the construction of the arch.

Books stacked in bookcases are ready to be placed in the book arch.

Making book arch columns from recycled books

I cut out the damaged parts of these titles. Many were water-damaged copies of Michael Crichton, John Gresham and Nora Roberts.

The bottom pillars are now secured and fixed to the floor.

Preparation of paperback books for a rainbow effect on the front of the arch

Holding rainbow paperbacks. My wife named the compressor ‘Big Kitty’ because it hisses like a cat.

Crown molding is installed. Just need to fill extra books!

Keeping the last yellow paperback book. almost done!

Finishing the crown molding

Finished book arch

Interior view of book arch

Book an ark at night.

We have a wedding planned under the arch in March!

Sandman Books is located in Punta Gorda, Florida.

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