Thursday, 24 July 2014

The Bookcase



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.


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9 comments:

Carol in Cairns said...

Looks like a nice bookcase Adullaman. And very satisfying when you see a nice home for all those books.

Now you can get better.

soubriquet said...

Coincidence abounds... We spent a few hours on.... saturday? chasing round 'antique' stores, which around here are like junk stores in england. And came home with an art-deco chest of drawers for the missus' vast wardrobe overspill, a bookcase, and a schoolteacher type desk with bookshelves on the front.
Saw some monstrously overpriced worm-eaten crap. The chest of drawers she really liked had one been a very nicely made oak piece. But every joint was loose, and wood-boring insects were still actively chewing their way through the back near the bottom.
I think it had maybe been relegated to a garage or shed for the last few years.
I told her that in order to make it usable I would need to dismantle and rebuild it, glueing and cramping each joint. And with an asking price of $360:00, it was about $350:00 overpriced...
Then we got our furniture home and the cleaning and carrying started. And today I had an MRI scan on the shoulder I screwed up while moving furniture back in february.
Like you, I recall the days when my body did not creak and complain at lifting and carrying. What happened?

soubriquet said...

Nice bookcase by the way... Better than what we got!

the fly in the web said...

Nice bookcase....I'm glad it has a good home again.

Lee said...

A bookcase, particularly a wooden one, would have a lot of stories to tell, wouldn't it?

Perhaps that tea you made could've moved it for you seeing you're so weak and it was so strong....just a thought....

goatman said...


Hard to make out those titles.

I just made a call to get rid of some 50 books to a local collector/bookstore owner. Engineering and science texts from 70's. One can look up most anything on screen nowadays. And I have not had necessity to look up the coefficient of friction for an oak brake pad in some time!

Slo and easy, slo and easy.

Adullamite said...

Carol, Lovely bookcase, I must put my symptoms book in there.

Soub, I saw a new bookcase, similar, £250! I hope the wardrobe overspill is not overspilling!

Fly, Nice books too....

Lee, I have tried the tea as a workmate, it fails.

Goatman, No, the web does not tell everything and cannot be read while in the bath!

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Well done on procuring the bookshelf! Now, if only you could read properly...

Adullamite said...

Jerry, if only you could spell properly! I spelt that wrong by the way....