Substitute teacher turns garden shed into used bookstore

Substitute teacher Kevin Stebner moonlights as the operator of a used book store — and you can find it in his backyard.

Situated in the Beltline and run out of a tiny green shack, the inside of Shed Books is illuminated by strings of lights and crammed with literature.

It also features old dishes and a lawn mower, because in spite of the books his patrons come to peruse, it remains a functioning shed for Stebner and his husband, Joe.

And though the space itself might seem quirky, Stebner came by the job honestly.

‘The used industry in Calgary is pretty slim, so there actually aren’t a lot of used bookstores anymore. So this is just a means to have a place to have those books find new homes,’ Stebner said. (Elizabeth Withey/CBC)

He previously worked at as a manager of a bookstore and missed it, Stebner said.

It was this history — and a penchant for book-buying — that would eventually lead to the creation of the little book store.

“I just have a tendency to hoard books in general — even just at home, my house is essentially a big library as well. So it got to a point where books were overflowing, and then I’d bring books to the shed labelled ‘shed books,'” Stebner said.

“But then my husband was like, ‘Well, why don’t you just take those books and flip them?'”

A place to pass books on

Described on its Facebook page as “specializing in curated and curious lit,” many of the titles found at Shed Books were sourced by Stebner himself, who hunts for a lot of his merchandise at thrift stores.

He said that customers also donate their own, because used book stores are increasingly hard to come by.

“A lot of people just bring them in, because they want … another place to pass books on,” Stebner said. 

“The used industry in Calgary is pretty slim, so there actually aren’t a lot of used bookstores anymore. So this is just a means to have a place to have those books find new homes.”

The book collection initially spanned one shelf, but eventually grew to overtake six, and runs a gamut of genres that include contemporary novels, poetry, philosophy, sci-fi, graphic novels, the arts and small-press Canadian literature.

Stebner estimates there are roughly 2,000 books on the shelves in his store for used books. (Elizabeth Withey/CBC)

“Robert Kroetsch is my favourite Albertan, so I always tend to try to put something like The Stud Horse Man into someone’s hand,” Stebner said. “It’s my favourite Alberta novel, at the very least.”

Currently, Stebner said he has a lot of Henry Miller that he is featuring on Instagram, but he regularly highlights different authors.

“I want to make sure that everything in there is good, something I could recommend, something that I know is worthwhile to read,” Stebner said.

As to whether or not he has read every volume himself, he chuckles.

“Of course not. There’s 

Read more

tall bookshelf arcs organize mesmerizing bookstore interior by x+living in china

shanghai-based architecture firm x+living has introduced yet another bookstore design, this time situated in the city of dujiangyan, in the south west of china. the new store, with its mirrored ceilings and its tall arc bookshelves, generates a unique, mesmerizing environment where one can explore the wondrous world of literature and cultural heritage. 

dujiangyan bookstore designed by xliving is just like a magical world 1
all images by shao feng

 

 

upon pushing the glass curtain door open, and entering the bookstore by x+living, the unique C-shape bookshelves with their natural walnut color welcome visitors inside. this seemingly irregular sequence is what builds intimacy within the space, and becomes the highlight of the front hall. the unique and lively arc shapes blaze a new trail and subtly divide the area. the bookshelves extend from the space to the adjacent columns, and ingeniously catch the readers’ curiosity and guide their route. strolling among the books, time within the store seems to slow down. 

dujiangyan bookstore designed by xliving is just like a magical world 2

 

 

walking through the winding way between the bookshelf walls, the children’s reading area suddenly emerges. ‘random’ and ‘irregular’ green bamboo elements were transformed into bookshelves, decorated with panda illustrations, to generate a fun, eye-catching environment. the pandas hang on the bookshelves, as the animals would climb on the high tree branches. colorful cushions are stacked forming small ‘hills’, to create a cozy, dreamy reading atmosphere for the children. the cushions can also be used separately, which also provides comfort for children to sit wherever on the ground and relax.

dujiangyan bookstore designed by xliving is just like a magical world 3

 

the design includes an x+living signature feature: mirror ceilings which help visually expand the space, while creating an overall open, tall interior. the flooring is covered with reflective black tiles, making the book tables appear like floating boats on a quiet lake. the whole architectural structure aims to portray the dynamic aesthetics of climate changes, whether it’s rainy, windy, or foggy. in this way, it seems as if the beautiful scenery of dujiangyan is vividly present within the bookstore. the designers aimed to create a whole indoor scenery, introducing the magnificent spirit of mountains and rivers into the interior, and presenting readers with elegant and powerful artistic landscape that expresseses awe to nature. 

dujiangyan bookstore designed by xliving is just like a magical world 4

dujiangyan bookstore designed by xliving is just like a magical world 6

dujiangyan bookstore designed by xliving is just like a magical world 7

dujiangyan bookstore designed by xliving is just like a magical world 5

dujiangyan bookstore designed by xliving is just like a magical world 8

dujiangyan bookstore designed by xliving is just like a magical world 9

dujiangyan bookstore designed by xliving is just like a magical world 10

dujiangyan bookstore designed by xliving is just like a magical world 11

dujiangyan bookstore designed by xliving is just like a magical world 12

 

 

project info:

 

name: dujiangyan zhongshuge
architecture office: x+living
lead designer: li xiang
project director: fan chen, wu feng
location: dujiangyan, sichuan, china
area: 973 m2

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom

Source Article

Read more