You Still Need 'Em | Page 50 | Newberry

You Still Need 'Em

When I was acquiring a degree in Library Science, for reasons which seemed sufficient at the time, one of the special lectures I had to attend was “Library Service to the Illiterate”. Oddly enough, it was not held on April first. To this day, though, I’m not sure whether they simply wanted libraries to be all things to all people or looked around at the state of the world and decided to hedge their bets.

In any case, I though I’d try to be helpful to my neighbor (hedging my bets) by providing TEN USES FOR BOOKS IF YOU OWN A KINDLE

COMPUER TABLE: Cinder blocks can scratch the floor and cost you your damages deposit. But two or three boxes of books at each end will hold up those boards just as well. (Note: banana boxes not recommended.)

CAT REST: Set a book open on the floor and pretend you’re going to read it. Little Snuggles will make for it like anything. The only napping post cats like better is a newspaper you happen to be reading.

GREETING CARD: There are plenty of cards appropriate for holidays or personal occasions, and, being bigger than normal greeting cards, will stand out in a card display, showing how much more thoughtful YOU are. Dr. Seuss wrote a book called Happy Birthday To You, and in December, Dickens’s A Christmas Carol is a natural. And, as Income Tax Day is on its way, why not mail out a few copies of Gone With the Wind by way of sympathy?

CENTERPIECE: A few books raise a centerpiece above the level of the table, making it look grander and more opulent, and also making it morwe difficult for your Uncle Jasper to glare at Aunt Cicely across the table. You can hide them under the linens if all you want is height, or you can let those leather bindings show under the bud vase to give an antique leather binding air to the proceedings. (Note: avoid the books on politics; you know what Uncle Jasper’s like when he’s had a few drinks.)

SUNSHADE: Don’t you just hate it when you’re reading your Kindle in the park, and the sun’s at just the wrong angle? Open the book out flat and hold it up in the air to make everything clear.

INSULATION: Enough boxes of books along the walls, and you can set your thermostat to a nice, eco-friendly level.

PROTEST STATEMENT:: Stack a few boxes in the doorways of that darkened storefront that used to be your favorite bookstore. With any luck, you’ll trip the new owner.

CHOCKS: You can wedge a book under the wheels of little Noodle’s stroller, or use ‘em to brace that big shopping cart you use when you’re at Best Buy.

SHIPPING DEVICE: Firmer and thicker than a cardboard mailing sleeve, a book is perfect if you want to make sure that document you’re mailing stays flat, slip it between the pages of a book. (That’s how I get all those nifty documents I list for sale on eBay: somebody wanted to keep them flat I’m glad there’s an eBay category for love letters and blackmail photos.)

CRIME PREVENTION: Afraid someone in the wide, wicked world is going to snatch your iPad or Kindle? Hollow out a book and hide your beloved dee-vice in there. Perfectly safe now: who’s going to steal a BOOK?” 

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