Scroll bookshelf: holding books in place with tensioned metal rolls

The Scroll Bookshelf appears to be a design prototype for a new kind of shelf that uses a curled, tensioned metal shelf overlaid with plastic to hold the books in place: "Unfurl the sheet and stack em books! And look! The ends have secret chambers to hold pens and other trinkets. Cute!"

Book Wrap


  1. My folks bought pretty much exactly the same thing in Scandinavia in the early seventies. My mom still has it, so far as I know.

    1. My parents had one too, and have passed it on to me. A block of clear plastic glued to a sheet coil of metal.

    1. Yes, I was about to mention those myself. They ended up getting all grubby and rusty looking. Perhaps the nice yellow ones would be easier to keep clean.

  2. Cute but not really useful – I have long had a version with one fixed end, which would be more stable than this, but even so when you remove a book it coils tighter and can push out other books. It’s also a real pain to replace a book, as you have to use one hand to loosen the coils while the other replaces the book. I suspect both those issues are even worse with this coil-at-both-ends version.

  3. Captain Buzzkill here,

    From an archival perspective, this would actually be pretty bad for the books. Because the books don’t rest on an even surface, all of the weigh falls to one cover or the other, putting slow steady shearing pressure on the spine.

    Over time, this will degrade the binding.

    I like the yellow though…

    1. There is an easy solution to that don’t use it as a shelf but as the backing of the shelf, that would hold the books securely and prevent the damage you warn of that way Anon with the boat or those with land boats (RVs) can keep their book and on the shelves where they should be

  4. It’s not really clear from the original link, but it seems that there isn’t a way to mount these. Not sure why you would want to buy something that doesn’t look like a very sturdy, and as GorillaBot points out, not a very wise, way to hold your books if you’re just going to need to set it down on a surface. I’d rather just stack my books.

  5. I’ve got a small collection of these in painted metal and some in chrome from the 1930’s. The scroll effect gives them an Art Deco look.

  6. “Bookshelf” seems the wrong word (perhaps a language issue). It doesn’t support them off the surface you put them on, any more than a tablecloth would. Its more like a set of book-ends.

  7. Having worked in libraries for a score of years, I’ve seen similar devices (although most were bare metal, not yellow) that date back at least several decades.

  8. The predecessor product was marketed as a “Bookworm” in the US, available in various painted colors. I have maybe 3-4 left in my house: they’ve been hard at work since the 1970’s I think. They seem, honestly, higher on function and smaller on cute than what we see here.

  9. This seems like a device that’s perfect for something that not necessarily about holding books .. we just don’t know what that something is yet. But we’ll find it, and then it’ll be perfect. My fetishy office-supply sense is tingling.

    Maybe it needs to be used vertically, and made mountable so you can attach it to the back surface of the shelf.

  10. Just for reference, I can’t see any indication that these things are “shelves”. They require something else to do the work of resisting gravity’s draw …

  11. At the Alexandrian Library scrolls like this “were” the books, why not just go back to that format?

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