I was going to kick off this post with a quote from Nicholson Baker’s essay “Books as Furniture,” but last year I decided to move most of my books into a closet so I wouldn’t have to dust them. Not only is my Nicholson Baker essay collection nowhere to be found, but a small pile of books fell on me while I was looking for it.
Do the final projects justify such desecration? Well...
Our crafter is considerate enough to suggest a way for us to pass the time while waiting for the glue to dry. Give you one guess what it isn’t! “I watched an episode of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman between layers and it worked just fine. ;)… [after Step 2] Go watch another episode of Dr. Quinn… gluing down the bottom layers… will require multiple episodes of Dr. Quinn.”
This nicely illustrates Baker’s point about armoires, which were once used for book storage but have become a popular place to hide TVs. He noted that reading is what we pretend we do — and we keep a lot of books around to maintain that illusion — but what we actually do is watch TV.
At least, I think that’s what he said. See above.
Here’s another book headboard:Eye-searing? No. Clumsy and non-functional? Yes. (I can’t imagine it’s any fun to prop your pillow up against those crinkly pages so you can rea… oh, wait.)
Baker said we use books as decor to show off our smarty-pants bona fides. These folks have turned books into literal furniture — and, in the process, mauled them beyond rescue. Maybe nobody wanted to read those books anymore. But is this a worthy end?
Books become tables:Chairs:Even shelves. This next one was actually inspired by “Books as Furniture!” Did the guy read the essay on opposite day?
Yeah, ha ha. Incidentally, “Anatomy of a Murder” was a bestseller (based on a real-life 1952 case) written by Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D. Voelker under the pen name Robert Traver. It was the source material for the 1959 Otto Preminger film, and is probably a pretty good read.
OR IT WAS.
The joke behind this next shelf, on the other hand, is actually quite cute. It was a finalist in a green design competition — because making this shelf helped the earth in some way, doncha know.
Most of these crafters will insist that they love books, really really love them, and intend their
abominations projects to show that love. I don’t buy it for a minute. People who love things don’t hack them up with power tools. Unless they’re serial killers. Hmmm…
For the final — and, OK, not-entirely-germane — proof of sublimated anti-bookism, I point to this pic from a bookstore. As a former bookstore worker, I can tell you that no one harbors more resentment toward books than bookstore workers. Look what they did here:
Yes, the rage is out there. The question is, what causes it? Thoughts?
P.S. Nicholson Baker has a new… I won’t say book coming out in September, but he has… something… coming out. Maybe order it on your Kindle.