We bought two vinyl rain gutters and 4 pairs of the end pieces. It was about $20 for the gutters, total and about $4 per pair of ends. My husband did go back to the store and get the brackets. If you don't use the brackets, the gutters will look misshapen and warped. The brackets actually support the gutter and cause it to be straight throughout the length of it.
My husband pre-drilled holes and fastened the gutters into the studs with screws and I'm glad he did. I ended up putting a lot of books on them and I don't think they would have been supported had he not.
Since we put the brackets on after securing the shelves to the wall, we had to cut the long flap on the back of the brackets so they would slide from the side and into the center of the gutter. If you decide to use the bracket prior to, you could fasten the shelves to the wall with the bracket. We used the bracket simply as reinforcement. Luckily, my husband figured out how to manipulate the bracket (cutting off the long flap) to make it work. Phew.
Have a look to see how we are using ours. I have designated one shelf per child. Our shared resources are on the regular bookshelf. Since we use www.mfwbooks.com, our family studies the same core subjects and therefore shares many resources. More to come about the rest of the room.