Troublesome Treasures

Do I seem to complain a lot? Very well, I complain a lot. I am vast; I am annoyed by multitudes of things.

I really hate getting books that are too big to fit in boxes. They’re awkward to store without doing them damage and hard to display on the table come Book Fair time. But what are you going to do if people INSIST on giving you Lester Cappon’s Atlas of Early American History, a fine and precious modern reference book (which, by the way, was produced at the Newberry Library)?

 Framed items are really a pain, because I’m always afraid I’m going to break the frame or the glass or the wire on the back, and sometimes the artwork is such that I don’t know whether it’s upside-down or sideways. But if you want to see a really nice English scene, take a look at that framed print of an English minster, serene in its sylvan setting.

Rolled objects: I cannot stand rolled objects. They’re impossible to stack, and hard to display. Just give them a chance and they’ll roll right where you’re about to set books down and flatten them. This year we’ve been given three copies of a map of the Chicago Railway System, dated 1906, each in lovely condition. And with them we received an 1890 blueprint from the C. & N. P. Railroad, not of a station or even the stationmaster’s office, but of the stationmaster’s desk, and how it should fit into a corner of the station. There is even a note from 1925 detailing how the desk was cut down in 1924. There’s no note anyplace to show WHERE this desk or this station were, but it’s an nice little piece of railroadiana all the same.

So do I mean it when I complain all the time?

Well, yes, really. There’s no rule saying I can’t be ticked off by nice things.

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