Two months ago, thanks to a rather seedy family issue, I was forced to a hasty move in to an apartment in the middle of town. The actual packing took place two weeks prior, in which most of the time was dedicated to packing books. Just under a dozen crammed boxes. The other household items occupied no fewer than 20 boxes combined. The new apartment is spacious enough, it has only my better half, my son, and myself to house. It is quite modest. The living room shared space with the dining room (and in this case, my office), two bedrooms of similar size-though with no overhead lighting much to the disdain of this reading family-and a comfortable bathroom, if anything far longer than it need be. After paying what was required, and then some more, there was a small start-up salary to furnish the empty apartment.
There were of course the kitchen necessities (necessary to this pseudo-chef at least, I pride myself on a well-stocked kitchen), the bathroom essentials, and eventually, nearing the end of the funds, there came the question of bookshelves. Mind you, the book keeping options in my previous home had far fewer limits than they would in an apartment. Before, the volumes were held up in floating cases above my desk. In this new apartment, one had no such option. This being my first apartment, I was forced in to frugality. The bookcases that were chosen to hold well over one hundred pounds of books (each) were a combined sixty dollars. The true nightmare of it all begins here: after what only could be compared to the composing of the Manhattan Project, the first bookcase was erected (this term is being used very generously, it stood as well as a drunkard after a day on the job, and as erect as that same man later that night). It took only the application of a twenty-seven volume encyclopedia set upon its shelves before the anchors on the bottom tore their way heroically through the last shelf, causing the shelves above it to follow suit. The frame of the bookshelf fell like a flaccid domino, and the books that previously occupied its shelves were now leaping away with the conviction and expertise of a professional sky diver. And all this above my dear Marissa, who was doomed to catch the fallout.
The ever expanding collection of books that occupy my living, dining, office, bed and bathroom space is now being lumped into somewhat neat piles that reach achingly toward the roof. Needless to say (though I will), bookcases are absolutely useless.