Horizontal shelving Walter High 26 Aug 1992 14:13 UTC

In reply to Carol Sullivan's question about shelving dead periodicals
horizontally to save space:  Our library has never tried such a scheme, but I
have some personal experience with this method that I can relate.  My wife and
I own a used bookstore at the Raleigh/Durham Airport and we shelve the books
horizontally.  Much of what we sell are paperbacks and the titles on paperback
spines read horizontally for the most part.  It works well except for the
problem of keeping the authors in alphabetical order.  People pull out a title
to examine it and rarely put it back in the right place.  It is too hard to
lift the other titles up (or even to look closely enough to bother to determine
where the right spot is).  Our employees must constantly realphabetize the
sections during slack periods.  We think it helps sell books, so we maintain
the system.  We do not use such a system for the hardbound books we sell.  They
are too heavy and people have a difficult time pulling them out of a stack.
There is also the danger that the stack will fall when they are pulling out one
on the bottom.  A few experiences like this convinced us to shelve hardbacks in
the normal manner.  (Incidentally, the paperback shelves are tilted back so
that the stack of books won't fall when one is removed.)  So, for what it is
worth, I wouldn't be inclined to try horizontal shelving with bound

North Carolina State University