Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Monday, April 9, 2012

Too Many Books

I remember reading somewhere about a new library that had to close because the engineers hadn't properly calculated the weight of books.  Once they realized, they feared collapse.

Just one wall ...
So do I.  (I fear all sorts of collapses, actually.)  We've filled our little place with so many books that there are times--I'm not exaggerating-when I think I hear the house groaning at night.  (Houses don't talk, I know, but I think they do complain.)  In the basement, I see foundation stones that look as if they want  to pop out of the wall.  We had a mason look at it last year; he said it was no problem, just needed some attention to some of the mortar.  He'd come back soon.  No big deal.

We haven't seen him in, oh, six months.  I think he's afraid to go down there.  I know I am.  When we come back from trips, I'm actually surprised to see the house still standing.  I rather expect to see it sort of folded in on itself like ... well, like a giant book.

All nooks get their books.
We talk now and then about selling some of our books.  Maybe on eBay.  Or on Amazon.  Where we could open our own little store: a mom-and-pop in cyberspace.  (We even have a cool name picked out, but we won't tell you what it is because you might steal it.)

Then we think about the hassle.  Dealing with people.  (Who can be annoying.)  Packing and shipping and ... dealing with people (who can be annoying).  And I know that the second a book is in the mail, I will need it for something--something vital.  Perhaps life-saving.

Many of our books I have never read and never will read.  They looked interesting; I bought them; I shelved them (back when we had shelf space); I looked at them fondly now and again.  Then forgot about them.  Moved on to another relationship.

But there they sit, neglected children, patient, uncomplaining, waiting for some parental attention.  Waiting, you know, to be accepted, understood.  Just like the rest of us.

But maybe they're more like neglected lovers.  They are not patient; they are bitter.  They groan in the night.  They will get together with others like them.  They will organize.  Throw their weight around.  Bring this whole place down!


  1. Argh! Me, too. Me, too. And when my mom died this winter, books and more books . . . She begged us to take some and we did, and now look at our shelves!

    It's so hard to part with some of them. And no one wants them anymore. And yet we keep writing them. What is wrong with us?

  2. I think you are missing opportunities here to use books as structural support: http://www.pennridge.org/works/corbelled%20books.jpg or http://favim.com/image/39944/, or as furniture: http://webecoist.momtastic.com/2011/03/07/novel-ideas-books-as-furniture-functional-decor/ or http://dadadoesntcatchflies.blogspot.com/2010/08/more-recycled-books.html