Tuesday, September 29, 2009

30 Years of IKEA's Billy!

Do you have, or have you ever had, a Billybookcase from IKEA? (The closest I've ever got, I confess, was going to IKEA London with my sister when she wanted to buy one.)

Now the iconic bookcase is celebrating its 30th birthday and Siobhan Toman at the BBC celebrates 30 years of with some fascinating facts :
... a behemoth of the bookcase world. Designed by only the fourth employee for Ikea, 41 million have been sold since 1979. The factory where the bookcases are made knocks out 15 Billys a minute; 3.1 million a year.
Huma Kureishi in the Guardian's Life and Style section talks about how :
... a Billy bookcase is actually very boring: an unassuming, plain, functional, building-block-style bog-standard bookcase
and the pleasure comes with customising it for yourself.

Of course the easiest way to customise a bookcase is - with books. Toman ruminates on one of the questions we love to keep coming back to on this blog - what do your bookshelves say about YOU?

And I thought we'd covered every possible way of organising books on bookshelves, but in the comments Laurie of London adds a new one :
I try and leave my books arranged in the order I read them. My bookshelves have now taken on diary-like qualities for me - I can look over them and remember where I was, who I was going out with, or what frame of mind I was in when I read certain books.
Sadly though one fact that doesn't get any space in these two pieces is that the factory which has been producing them all this while is about to close.

(Lots of photos of Billy bookshelves in use on Flickr.)


pussreboots said...

Do I have a Billy? I have 7!

marineko said...

I have 2 Billy bookcases, and went to IKEA to get more a couple of days ago. Unfortunately the colors I wanted were all out of stock :(

adline @ moonlight said...

i have quite a few of these. the wide ones tend to sag after a while, but i still like them.

kakchik said...

i wish there's an ikea store here in kota bharu

Chen said...

Billy is my best friend. But sometimes I do wish I could afford to buy something that doesn't come from IKEA...

Kymm said...

Looking for more fun with BILLY? IKEAFANS.com, IKEA UK and IKEA USA are happy to announce the launch of a contest to celebrate the 30th birthday of the iconic BILLY bookcase. Over 40 million BILLY bookcases are in the wild - is one of them yours? Tell us about it for your chance to win IKEA prizes!

IKEA UK Fans: http://www.ikeafans.com/home/ikea-billy-bookcase-contest-enter-to-win/

IKEA US Fans: http://www.ikeafans.com/home/ikea-us-joins-the-billy-bookcase-contest/