Tasty bookends
April 26, 2014 9:39 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for attractive pink himalayan rock salt bookends to hold up cookbooks on the shelf I just installed on my kitchen wall. I feel sure I've seen them for sale a bunch of places, but of course now that I want to buy them I can't find them anywhere. Where can I buy these?

I'm looking for them to be basically rock shape everywhere that's not bookend shape. So that place that has spherical lamps and suggest buying two for bookends? Pfeh.

I can find a million lamps that are the basic shape I want, except they're not cut in half and I don't think their base is as flat as I want.
posted by aubilenon to Shopping (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Best answer: This place is small and local to me, and they're great folks. What you're looking for is not on their website but I am certain I've seen it in the shop. Give them a call tomorrow; they ship worldwide.
posted by anastasiav at 9:58 PM on April 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: What about rose quartz which is a dead ringer?

Thanks for the suggestion, but it's not what I'm looking for. Compare:

"Nice bookends!"
"Thanks, they are made of salt, because we are in a kitchen!"


"Nice bookends!"
"Thanks, they are rocks!"
posted by aubilenon at 10:24 PM on April 26, 2014 [6 favorites]

Best answer: In case you want to reconsider the rock salt and go for the rose quartz chasles suggests ... we have a rock salt lamp and it's hydrophilic. If the lamp is left switched off, the salt attracts moisture, which sometimes becomes a small pool of brine (when the lamp is on, its warmth keeps it dry). Perhaps that tendency could be cured with varnish for bookends, but I'd avoid using rock salt with my books, especially in a kitchen where the air could get damp.
posted by anadem at 10:27 PM on April 26, 2014 [14 favorites]

Best answer: Yeah, you have to put something between the salt rock and the books, because they get damp/wet to touch, which would not be book friendly.
Lots of the lamps have a little wooden rim around the bottom to collect the condensation, or just have water stains if you check out the old ones.
So if this is what you were talking about? Not good. Would still work, you just want to stick it to a piece of wood for a barrier between it and the books.
posted by Elysum at 10:49 PM on April 26, 2014

Why is nobody in this thread giving you what you are asking for?

Because in a steamy, wet kitchen, salt is potentially not going to work as well as the OP might be assuming it will.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:30 AM on April 27, 2014 [10 favorites]

Do you have any discount home furnishing stores near you? I've seen this type of thing a lot at HomeGoods, which is a TJ Maxx/Marshall's type place. I'm on the east coast so I'm not sure what stores are in your area.
posted by brilliantine at 4:31 AM on April 27, 2014

Yes, have to agree with the naysayers here. We have a rock salt lamp and it is a briny disaster because it absorbs humidity, I can only imagine how much damage it could do to books in a kitchen. Maybe bookends that HOLD salt?
posted by biscotti at 5:25 AM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Well, you could use a Himalayan salt lick to get the lumpy/rocky shape. The rope on the hole-through-the-middle ones can easily be untied or cut off. But they're untreated and don't behave well indoors like other posters are worried about (and are delicious, I checked and also verified with pony, nom nom).
posted by anaelith at 5:55 AM on April 27, 2014

pretty much all the slabs at The Meadow are, well, slabs: they are like big paving bricks. If you are looking for something with a book-facing plane, and wild craggy surface on the outside, look elsewhere.

Now, as far as damage to the books facing them...slap a sacrificial book or two facing the bookends. What else are you going to do with that copy of Deceptively Delicious?
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 10:37 AM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding brilliantine. I found some of the lamps and candles made of the Himalayan salt at TJ Maxx and Homegoods at great prices. At the time, they had bookends too. Never had a problem with the salt, even though I live in a humid climate. They have random stuff, so you can never be sure the stores will have an item in stock, so they aren't a reliable source--but if you have a TJ Maxx close by you might want to check occasionally. (I don't work for them, I promise :)

I've seen similar items at different health food stores and rock/mineral shops, but at higher prices. Have you tried ebay? The salt is heavy, so may cost a bit to ship.
posted by bessiemae at 10:57 AM on April 27, 2014

The ones from Anthropologie are, in fact, quartz.
posted by athenasbanquet at 2:45 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Okay, I called anastasiav's salt place. They said they don't actually have them, but they cut and sand their own salt so they can make whatever. But for that I would need to visit the store. Also they did confirm that deliquescence might be an problem. This was something I had not thought of, and they didn't mention it until I asked them about it. So thanks for the heads up, people. I think my climate is pretty similar to anadem's, so as much as I would like to, I think it's not an issue I can ignore.

But I am not beaten (licked?) yet! It just turns this into a project instead of a purchase. If I can get the salt (and I have reason to be in New England later this year, so I can visit the Salt Cellar (and eat at The Friendly Toast)), I will affix wood or glass plates to the two flat sides of each bookend, to protect the books and the shelf. That will give me lovely salty bookends, but maintain the current status quo where the only salt on the cookbooks is from spills while cooking.

Alternatively if anyone can think of something that would work as a fixative, that might be more convenient. Even if it would make the bookends less lickable.
posted by aubilenon at 3:28 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

So grab two oak boards, maybe router a pretty edge, sand them & stain them, then glue them at a 90-degree angle. A blob of some kind of clear caulk or two-part epoxy as adhesive underneath should hold them. Then repeat for the second bookend.

A couple sessions of work, and they will be gorgeous and hand-made, as well as non-book-touching. Viola!

I have been meaning to do just this with some pipestone if I can ever get my hands on any.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:57 AM on April 28, 2014

Response by poster: wenestvedt: Right, that's the plan. Except maybe with glass, so I don't have to find wood that looks okay next to the other wood in my kitchen. Though glass sure is a lot harder to work with than wood... but if I wanted to do things the easy way well I would have been done already in less time than it took me to post this question in the first place.

For now the project is officially on hold until I actually get my hands on the salt, but I hope to finish before this post closes, so I can post pictures.
posted by aubilenon at 9:53 AM on April 29, 2014

« Older Where can I find "real" work-from-home jobs?   |   Istanbul versus Berlin Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.