Expedit Bookcase

IKEA Expedit Bookcase 501.030.86 Review

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Written by: Danielle Holgate

Ah, the college life. In addition to being introduced to all nighters and learning the truth of phrases such as “beer before liquor never been sicker”, college for many kids is the first time they’ve lived away from home.  Learning how to buy groceries, and furnish one’s apartment while staying on a budget, sometimes proves challenging. Besides Top Ramen, one of the best, cheap purchases I made was the IKEA Expedit Bookcase 501.030.86.

As many people know, IKEA furniture is known for being inexpensive, light weight, and “assemble yourself”. The Expedit Bookcase retails for $69.99, by itself. It came in one box, with an all- picture “how-to guide”, several flat planks, and a goodie bag filled with pegs and screws. Once erected the product dimensions are as follows:

Expedit Bookcase
Expedit Bookcase in Birch Effect

–       Width: 31 1/8”

–       Depth: 15 3/8”

–       Height: 58 5/8”

–       Max load/shelf: 29 lbs.


I found it helpful when beginning the project of building the structure, to first lay out all of the boards, pegs, and screws. I did this so that if I was holding together the structure with both my hands and one of my feet, I could find the screw that was needed to hold it all together much easier.  If memory serves me correctly it took about 20 minutes to get the whole thing together.

The beauty of IKEA furniture products is that they usually are designed in several colors and with complementary items in mind to go with them. The one I have is in birch effect but they also come in white, black-brown, and walnut effect.

When I purchased the IKEA Expedit Bookcase 501 030 86, I also purchased the Expedit Workstation desk 198.613.39 in birch effect, all together for $119.99. It made for a very productive setup with a great storage space for my laptop, my textbooks, notebooks, and other educational paraphernalia.

IKEA Expedit Workstation in Birch Effect
IKEA Expedit Workstation in Birch Effect.


Inexpensive, lightweight, easy to clean, stylish, versatile, can be easily disassembled and re-assembled.


Bulky- I wanted to use the bookcase for exactly that, books. The shelves are rather deep and unless a way can be found to set it up where both sides can be used (which is trickier than one might think) it feels like a waste of space. The bookcase will not last indefinitely i.e. do not let drunk people try to climb or dance on top of it.

I think the IKEA Expedit Bookcase 501.030.86 was completely worth the money. It has lasted me for almost three years and through two moves. I’ve carried it up a winding, three-story staircase as well as disassembled and reassembled it. It’s a great buy for someone who is starting off their independent life and has to stay with-in a low budget range for furniture.

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