Because the surface on which the books sit is diagonal, you never have to worry about your books falling over; when one is removed, the rest slide into place.
The surface design of the metal is grinded aluminum. I do the grinding myself and rather enjoy doing it. =) It has a really unique look, and tends to look like its moving as you move around it. Some say it looks like the metal is "dancing" in the light. *
The shelf consists of six 8" straight portions (where the books sit) all bent at 90 degrees.
It hangs on the wall via tabs welded to the bookends, spaced to overlap the studs in your wall. It's sturdy and easily handles being completely full of books. As soon as you put books on it, the brackets get hidden. Many first time viewers can't figure out how the shelf is hung.
Hanging it is easy, although it does require two people and a power screwdriver. It should take no more than 15 minutes. There are also extra holes in the brackets, in case the studs in your wall aren't quite standard.
Its dimensions are:
34" long X 5.75" tall X 8" deep
*The grinded surface texture on your shelf will vary slightly with the one pictured, due to the subjective nature of grinding the metal.