Now look at the top shelf. Run all of your smaller sized books side by side across the top shelf. If you have multiple book cases side by side, run these books across all of them. The books should be all the same height if you can. And idealy they should run the complete width of the shelf. This will give a visual frame to the book shelf.
It is highly unlikely that you will have to acquire a building permit for this type of project, unless you decide to do any kind of plumbing or electrical wiring. When in doubt, be sure to check your city's building codes.
The corner shelf can also be a great place for a small television. You don't want to put a lot of weight on them, but a depending how it was mounted to the wall, some can handle up to 50 pounds. Screwing them directly onto the studs can dramatically increase the amount of weight they can bear. So be sure to follow all the manufacturers recommendations and limitations to avoid a disastrous situation.
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