So I did this, using one hand, since the other's not reliable yet, and it worked fine. Also I was able to put a nice little flowering begonia on top of it -- moved from a similar location one floor up, it will be happy -- and now see the result.
Cost: zero. Result: nice, books all accessible, teabags visible, clean cloths, for when those cookbook writers tell you to use a CLEAN cloth, right where I can easily get them. Liking this. Also it looks okay.
One logistical puzzle in this kitchen: I have to be very careful on that window wall not to set up something that will stop me from opening the oven door, which is on the left and surprisingly big. And anything that will stop me from reaching to shelves on the right to get pots and items I use all the time. This little bookcase fits all that.
Very smug about this success. Next, but with some help, need two hands, I'm going to move the microwave over to where the books and tea were, so as to free up the counter right next to the stove, which is now almost unusable. Safety issue as well as convenience one.
I have some nice pale yellow paint waiting application to the kitchen walls, when I get up the strength and general energy to do it, so that will be for another day. One wall at a time, usual strategy. I got the light fitting replaced first so that I could see where I was painting, not wanting to paint in a dull light then get a surprise to see a lot of missed bits.