Page last updated at 10:19 GMT, Friday, 25 September 2009 11:19 UK

What does your bookcase say about you?

Advertisement

Readers on what their bookcases reveal about their lives

By Siobhan Toman
BBC News

It has held books upright in millions of rooms around the world for 30 years. As Ikea's Billy bookcase enters its fourth decade, why do we display our reading material rather than just store it away?

Billy is 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.

Many households in the UK have one of these no-frills, building-block style bookcases nestled in a corner somewhere, which means there are a lot of books sitting on its simple shelves.

But not every Billy owner will be paying upwards of £25 to fill the space with improving literature. CDs and DVDs will find a home there too.