Friday, May 20, 2011
I can see you blenching at the idea of destroying books. I tell you what, it depends on the books. Some books should have been pulped at birth. It may be that I myself wrote a couple of them. But I digress; I was talking about home storage.
A few weeks ago I noticed that cardboard boxes full of books were multiplying in dark corners of the house like an infestation of rats. Time to take action. Time to deaccession those books which we can bear to part with. Time to buy more bookcases to hold the rest.
So I went on Overstock.com and ordered three bookcases, just the right size to fit in our back hall as long as no one needs to use a wheelchair to get from our bedroom to the upstairs bathroom, which no one does so far, thanks be to God. They were handsome and inexpensive, made of coarse particle board with a microscopically thin veneer of mahogany, and they came, as you might expect, knocked down. The veneer was cracked and chipped in places but the Chinese manufacturer had kindly included in the plastic bag of parts a felt-tip pen the color of the veneer to fix it.
Shall I tell you of the other defects in quality control? Shall I complain about how the dowels were too narrow to fit snugly into the holes drilled for them, or how one of the cam thingies was not even threaded, or how two of the holes in one of the side pieces were drilled wrong? No. Instead of that I'll brag about how we put the three bookcases together in three days, working alternately and in tandem, switching off parts among the three until all the faults and defective bits (except for the chipped veneer) had been shifted to one last joint, which the resourceful Harold put together with new dowels, Gorilla Glue, and a huge clamp. Now to go load the bookcases up with books.
Probably they won't all fit. Tell you what. If you'd like some books, send me a stamped self-addressed cardboard box.