There are many beautiful book presses available but they are very, very expensive. Maybe someday I can afford something fancy, but for now it just needs to be functional. This was my first attempt at building a book press.
There are book press plans floating around the Net. I had a cheap book shelf hanging around that I cut in half and drilled holes through. The hardware cost around $10. I added springs (and extra washers) to help hold the top board up, but they can be removed for thinner books. Unfortunately, this press demonstrates my inability to cut a straight line or to line things up before drilling. At least I know how it is done and I can do it again, with some larger pieces of wood. Next time I will have some boards cut at the Home Depot - they have to be able to cut straighter than I can.