I love books. I’ve always loved books. I love books more even than I love reading books, evidenced by the relative speeds with which I read them and buy them.
Finally, 14 months after I moved in to this apartment I found (with the help of reddit) a furniture store and went on a little Saturday morning trip (yeah I know this says 1/27. Go back a couple weeks to see why. And forget entirely the fact that I’m writing, if not posting this on a Tuesday night.)
In Brooklyn and I suppose NYC at large, there’s a furniture store chain “Gothic Cabinet Craft” that sells plain unfinished (presumably at your option, but that was always mine) furniture. I would be able to walk in to GCC and say “okay I want these bookshelves, but 5 inches shorter, with no crown, and 4 inches wider. Make me 4 of them and deliver them.” It was awesome. Of course all of that had to stay in New York (actually on my porch. Someday I’ll print THAT whole store, but it ain’t gonna be soon.)
So I wandered up to Conference Drive in…Madison? I think? to a big ol’ showroom full of “rustic” (read: painted and ‘artificially distressed’ *hurl*) furniture. I was approached, of course, by a commissionariat that I used the force on so I could peruse the selection unmolested.
In the back left corner (one might say “quadrant” as this place was hucking fuge) was acreage of that telltale blond pine wood. They had all kinds of cubicle shelving, cabinets. All kinds of nonsense in plain pine. Finally I spotted a few things.
I quested back across the land of desk, through the mires of eatery and over the barrows of bedroom to The Station, where I heard my Party Representative talking “Yeah I have the woman and that guy with the” I rounded the corner to see her gesturing at the back of hear head and I said “long hair? Or hoodie?”
She was aGHAST as I chuckled, never quite recovering.
“Yeah, could you help me with a couple bookshelves? Turn around times and such?” We started making our way through the headboards of Bedding Barrow.
“Nope, plain pine.” She deflated more. I guessed where they probably made their margins.
“We’ve got some pieces in stock.” She added unenthusiastically.
“Well, cash and carry trumps first choice selection.” I couldn’t believe I might actually get out of there with shelves.
I pointed to a couple modular cube things 4×2 cubes of 16×16. “So…these are the…”
“ooh, I can get these made in…”
“eh, forget it. What do you…”
“It would only take 4 to 5 weeks…”
“Meh. What do you have in stock?” She led me over to a wall of varying sizes of shelves. I thought a second.
“Okay, 2 72x24s if you’ve got ’em. 60s will work if you don’t.”
“I’ll check to see if we’ve got a second 72.” And she disappeared “into the back” for a few minutes.
So yes, we journeyed back to fill out the paperwork and exchange cash and I realized…
“I have to walk down to harbor freight for straps.”
“We’ll bring ’em up.”
So…all that happened (he said, tired of writing.)
I strapped the shelving units to the top of the truck bed and drove (reasonably for a change) home and set one up.
Because then I looked around my apartment and saw all the piles of books.
In so many corners, little stacks, big stacks, stacks by topic, by rarity (yes really) and I started collecting them, crisscrossing the apartment, carrying piles of them.
One at a time the shelves started to fill. An adjustment here…no that goes there. Wait, didn’t I have the second one of those over….AH! Yes. Hey, I forgot I had one of these…..and THREE of those!?! HA! I suppose I could keep the fiction…well…fantasy at least, over…yeah and trading down..well, up. Back and forth for hours, exhaling twice for every inhale. All the while making excited plans about reading this one first, no THIS one. And I definitely want to work through THAT. I’ve ALways wanted to learn THAT.
I stood there, smiling at my little shelf of mostly unread books that it was the most me thing in the whole place.
Books are home.