How to Measure for Bookshelves

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Measure your room to determine the space needed for a bookshelf.
Measure your room to determine the space needed for a bookshelf. (Image: Bookshelf 8 image by Tomasz Nowicki from Fotolia.com)

A bookshelf fits most walls, as long as there is a moderate amount of space. To determine if a bookshelf will fit your room, measure the wall's height, width and depth. If the dimensions of the wall are larger than those of the shelf, the shelf will fit. Some bookshelves have adjustable shelves or an adjustable height. Adjustable bookshelves can fit into a wider variety of areas. However, you should still measure the area where you intend to place your shelf.

Clear any objects from the wall and floor. Set these objects aside.

Place a tape measure on one end of the wall. Pull the measure to the other end of the wall to measure the length of the wall.

Pull the tape measure from the bottom of the wall to the top of the wall to measure the height of the wall.

Place a tape measure on the bottom of the wall. Pull the tape measure forward, keeping it against the floor. Measure the available distance between the wall and any objects in the way, such as a couch or table.

Note the locations and dimensions of any radiators or vents. Bookshelves should not be within 2 inches of radiators or vents.

Examine your collection of books. Measure the height and length of your largest books. You will want a bookshelf that has shelves that are at least an inch taller and an inch deeper than your bookshelf.

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