As I awoke to the chattering classes on the radio this morning I discovered aching arms and pains in the back remained after my exertions yesterday. This never used to happen. When I was a lad I moved furniture up and down five flights of stairs regularly yet had no strains at all, just one or two trapped fingers. However I managed to struggle all the way to the grime covered kitchen and sustain myself via porridge and tea. Then I placed the bookcase in position having moved the old dust covered shelving to a position where it would be a nuisance. The hoover is now thanking me for the years of dust that had accumulated behind the old shelving, my throat and lungs are not so thankful. Once the thing was wiped down and shelves placed therein I checked the wee marks thereupon and began to wonder from where it had come. Each mark on a shelf indicated someone searching out a book. The marks on the base could be caused by years of feet scuffing the sides, kids toys bashing it as they passed by, mum's hoover, or possibly the hoover used by the 'woman who does,' all leaving a small memory behind. For years this bookcase has stood in someones home, someone with money I suggest, in days gone by as when bought it would have been quite pricey. Someone who had a 'nice' home and 'good' furniture within. Does it date from the 80's, 70's, 60's perhaps? Over the years their 'nice' home has become a wee bit bashed, this indicates a full house, probably a happy house, and if the bookcase was in the middle of house life maybe a well educated house.
What books stood on these shelves?
Were there intellectually stimulating books covering the subjects studied in university perhaps? Did history volumes fill the shelves, weighty tomes of some science or engineering perhaps, could a trainee doctor have loaded the shelves with books full of unpronounceable words? It could be they were used for story books, novels with which to waste life or worse novels through whom life was lived. Large books have been stored on the bottom shelf as space has been made for them there. Kids encyclopedias maybe, books about animals, aircraft, ships? Possibly coffee table tomes full of glossy pictures covering fashion, houses or the world in general certainly covering the world of the owner. Maybe they were authored by the householder? Was this the first recipient of a writers life I wonder? We shall never know so why am I prattling on?
If only the bookcase could talk.
Mind you if a bookcase began to talk we would then have other problems. What would the bookcase say about the contents of the shelves? Even worse imagine a sofa speaking to the press about those that had 'made use' of its comfort! The boring sideboard may not appear so boring once it reveals the contents of that drawer with the lock that no family member bar one has ever seen open, at least the sideboard would know where the keys in the drawer fit! The fridge would be able to reveal who was drinking out of that bottle late at night, the front door would have tales of many who had knocked hopefully over the years and as for the bathroom cabinet I despair if one of those ever began to speak!
Oh dear. I think I made the tea too strong this morning, I will go and put some books on the shelf......
How ridiculously satisfying to have a bookcase full of books! What strange satisfaction to see almost all the books almost in the right place. Certainly when the world's problems are noted this small thing is unimportant, but I am strangely content. Behind me the place is er, not quite right, but that's another story as I am washed out now. I probably should not have carted this upstairs yesterday and moved the books. Ah well.