The adventures of shelves and books

I love books! I love them like an obsessed crazy lover in all those shady movies. I think about them constantly. I plan what I will read today, tomorrow, the day after, the month, the decade etc. I have bought so much that my huge and I do mean huge spacious shelves are now stuffed and overflowing and I am down to keeping books on my bedroom floor. (Yes! I know the floor is not the best place to keep them but read the prefix to this statement….I don’t have space!)

It does not help the matter when my wacky flatmate (though currently she has taken over the role of being sensible among the two of us; yes! we rotate who will be the sensible for a certain span of time!) suffers from an equally bad case of book obsession and buys them as if from tomorrow publication of all literature would be banned (Shudder! Shudder! Horror! Now that is definitely my worst nightmare!). Anyway, so now we both are stuck with piles and piles of books and no place to keep em!

English: Books on shelves at UWI Library, Trin...
Image via Wikipedia

After much procrastination and debate, we both decided to invest in some bookshelves today. It does not help when our obsessions with books is equally matched with a dislike of furniture. We live in very Spartan settings…beds and the wardrobe are the only furniture adorning our bed rooms and a small couch, two chairs and couple of rugs and cushions along with the mammoth book shelf makes for our humongous sitting room. (Don’t call us weird….we are eccentric!). Hence we had to debate out the issue that it was indeed time to invest in shelves.

In the glorious spring afternoon we set out for our quest. A friend of ours had suggested this out of way place open market that has some awesome bookshelves of teak wood and rosewood handmade by gypsies. Excited at the prospect and such recommendation, we proceeded to our destination. Might I add, handcrafted, gypsy and rosewood were terms that categorically tilted the debate in favour of our debate for purchasing the shelves. After a bit of back and forth calculation on the excat location of this market, we drove off.

As we approached, we saw some fine quantities of handcrafted metal and wood; chairs and lamps and tables and coffee tables etc. We parked the car and walked across the sandy grounds where these items were on display. We approached each shopkeeper and began to browse around his shops; lovely chests, beautiful dressers, dining tables, centre tables; mahogany wardrobe….lovely, artistic pieces; handcrafted, actually made of teak or rose wood. Pieces that will make any house a beautiful home; pieces that personalize your space and make it special for you. You name it, this place had it. So we named it – bookshelves and …………………………horror horror horror no bookshelves. They had cabinets for crockeries. They had special shelves for kitchen. They even had shelves for television, DVD players etc. But no book shelves. As we walked the length and breadth of the market, we asked and asked and asked and with no success. At one point, we became so desperate we even contemplated buying a chest or the television table and turning them into book shelves. Yes! We are truly desperate. But despite tramping around the whole afternoon we did not find even a single bookshelf. The shop owners told us that there is not much demand for such stuff! Duh???!!!

Finally realization dawned on Buddha and I came to the following conclusions –

Books (Photo credit: henry…)
  1. I will not find bookshelves
  2. I will not find bookshelves because in this day and age of kindle and e books, maybe buying books was going out of fashion.
  3. My friend though a great friend has absolutely no conception of what a book shelf truly is, though she does know a lot about a lot of things
  4. She has no conception of a bookshelf not because she uses Kindle but because she does not read. (I do not consider reading 5 books a year as reading and for that you might as well stack them next to your DVD player on the DVD table top)
  5. I was a fool not to comprehend that my non reading friend’s comprehension about a book shelf would be very different from mine!

In the meanwhile, the open floors of my home uncluttered by furniture continue to serve as a warehouse for my books!


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