As long bookcase shelves are seldom advisable on account of the weight they have to bear, and consequent tendency to bend, it is usual to make the case when over 4 ft. or 4 ft. 6 ins. long with upright divisions, and often with a break or projecting front in the centre, as in Fig. 217. In this there are three independent sets of shelves. It may be suggested that when a top is of this formation, as it often is in other things besides bookcases, the best way is to stick the projecting piece on where it is wanted. This is a better way than making the whole of the top to the full width, and then cutting away the spaces at the ends.
Fig. 216. - Rack for Movable Shelves.
Fig. 217. - Dwarf Bookcase with Break Front.
Fig. 218. - Secretary Bookcase.
Bookcases and cupboards generally are often made with sliding instead of hinged doors, one sliding behind the other. This arrangement is convenient sometimes, but with glass doors, which are usually found in bookcases, it must not be forgotten that it is not so easy to clean the insides as when they open outwards.
Taller bookcases are generally made in two parts, the lower somewhat deeper from back to front than the upper, which alone has glass doors. Those in the lower or cupboard portion are seldom of anything but wood. Drawers are often added in the lower portion above the doors. As with dwarf bookcases, these higher ones should seldom be made more than 4 ft. 6 ins. wide without a division, or, if very large, more than one.
Instead of having plain drawers, or none at all, the lower part of a bookcase is often fitted for writing purposes, either with a cylinder - fall or with a special arrangement as shown in Fig. 218. In this the front of the writing part folds against inner ends, which can be pulled out and pushed back as occasion requires. The flap or lid is kept up by a spring catch on each side.
Nests of pigeon-holes for containing letters and documents are among the things which the cabinetmaker is sometimes called on for. Their construction calls for no special remarks beyond saying that they are often made with folding shutter fronts constructed like the flexible falls already mentioned for writing-tables.