March 9, 2011

My Flea Market Booth History Part 4.

I now have a great spot, but with all the books I was bringing in I soon found I needed more shelving.
First I found two short bookshelves one 3 shelf one 2 at a church thrift store; I had intended to turn into a front display when another flea marketer mentioned a glass display case. I quickly obtained this item even with the orange carpeting in the bottom and displayed all the wine stoppers and pearls I have for sale. This has helped a little with the shoplifting.

Not one to waste anything, the two short units are now stacked in the back between two taller bookshelves I also picked up from a fellow vendor. Now for the center, a table is great for displaying glassware and other items, but I wanted to showcase more books. This is where the fun began. My husband listened to me as I sketched and planned to build a large bookshelf. The only problem, time! I needed more time to clean the house and keep up with my on line orders!

After some planning I decided to go the block and board method. Easy to install and load into my car, yes I have a car and not a truck.

I measured the space and decided 10 feet was the longest I should go in my 15 x 12’ booth. But how high? I wanted this to be usable from both sides. The concrete blocks I chose are nothing fancy they measure 8x16x4” for the 10 foot span I decided on three for each level. For shelving I elected to use 1x8x10 pine boards, as they would fit in the car!

The first level does not start with the board on the bottom I started with 3 concrete block placed evenly under the first board then I laid the second board along side bringing both to the edges of the block. (Yes I have a gap in the center, but a 1x10x10 just would not fit into the car.) I carefully started the next layer by lining up the second block with the one below. Not bad but new concrete blocks do shed small (or not so small) particles. Placing the second set of boards the same as the ones below was easier. I repeated this process 7 times before I ran out of boards I finished with two blocks on the top laying on their sides. Loading the books was easier as I had sorted the books alphabetically by author before bringing them to the flea market.

Did I worry about stability, yes! For maximum stability I placed the blocks them directly onto the pavement, ensuring a firm base. I also keep the bookcase under 6 feet. The books also give it some stability. How did I cope with the depth of the bookcase as I was only placing paperback? I did not want paperbacks being shoved back. I utilized the space behind the paperbacks. A great place to store additional copies of the new books, I have for sale. Placing hardback all on the shelves takes to much room. Duplicate copies are stored behind the paperbacks.

Two days later I returned to pick up the final two boards, but decided I only needed one for the top.  This single board gives me additional display space and allows my plastic tarp to cover the books when the flea market is closed. Yes everything gets covered at night, or packed in the car to go home.

After my building project I wish I had used the block method for all of the shelving as it has a nice industrial feel to it.

The space under the bookshelf is perfect for storing a few boxes of paperbacks ready to be shelved. These few boxes have plastic applied to the bottom for moisture prevention.