Saturday, August 27, 2016


Today Precocious Daughter and I built a bookcase.

It's not the first piece of furniture we've built together. It's not even the first bookcase. We've built a number of furnishings in the last 10 months, and we love them all the more for the effort we expended to bring them to life.

This is my favorite. Thank you for understanding
independent women, IKEA.
Long story short: PDaughter's bookcase survived the move from house to apartment, but not well. A few months ago, it collapsed in a blaze of low-quality MDF. Such is life. We disposed the dead case, and PDaughter's library took up residence in a corner of her bedroom. Where it sat until today.

The thing is, our path to replacing the late bookcase has been much longer and stranger than it should have been.

Gratuitous Grateful Dead reference, because why not?
Here's the thing. PDaughter's late bookcase was white, like most of her bedroom furniture, and so she wanted its replacement to be white as, well. It proved difficult to find a white bookcase in the size she wanted at local stores. So I eventually placed an order with Wayfair for a bookcase that was extra-tall and white (like Larry Bird), and I paid a premium for said bookcase.

Why would I not post this adorable picture?
Well, the Wayfair bookcase was a disaster. The "extra-tall" MDF side panels literally broke in half when I tried to raise them upright. I ended up throwing the entire $200+ enterprise into the trash. 

And since then, her books have stayed on the floor. :(

Until my city government forced my hand.

See, a couple of weeks ago, I received a notice from my apartment complex that my home had been randomly selected to be inspected by the city in its annual inspection.. OK, no big deal.


Earlier this year, PDaughter experienced water intrusion in her bedroom from a leak in the roof. Total kudos to apartment maintenance for fixing the leak, but it did leave an area of blistered, cracked paint in one corner where the rain got in.

And as it happened, the collapse of PDaughter's bookcase occurred shortly after the leak. Therefore, I couldn't schedule a maintenance call to repaint because the affected corner was completely blocked by books.

So the city flagged the peeling paint in PDaughter's bedroom as a violation. And our property manager informed us that we needed to provide access to the offending wall on September 1st.

Thus buying a new bookcase became a priority.

One of the reasons we hadn't previously gone out and bought one was that PDaughter insisted that the replacement be white, like the other furniture in her room. But I finally pointed out to her that what she critically needed was a goddamn bookcase, regardless of color, and she agreed.

So today we found a (non-white, but gorgeous) bookcase at Target, and two extremely nice employees helped us load it into Benedict Cumberhatch, and we took it home and put it together.

It was easy, and even fun. Then PDaughter meticulously organized her books and shelved them.

This is a well-designed, attractive, and sturdy book case. And you can totally see it here if you're interested. 

I want you to know that the books shelved here include those by Joseph Heller, Anne McCaffrey, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Raymond Carver, Douglas Adams, and many more.

My kid is so freaking well-read. I could not be prouder of any of her achievements than that.


Anyway, my kid and I built a bookcase today. Which we purchased, brought home, and carried into our place by ourselves, together.

I thought that shit was pretty neat.




  1. When I clicked on the "see it here" link, the bookcase in the photo was...white. ��


    1. OMG, you're right! That is totally freaking hilarious, and I will NOT be letting PDaughter know that it was available in white (for the record, she likes the grayish woodtone of the one we bought, and it goes really well with the paint and carpet in her room).

  2. In spite of not being white I think the new bookcase is gorgeous. I assume the picture was taken while shelving was in progress because there's room for more books. Either that or you and PDaughter need to schedule a trip to the bookstore.
    I've met two people who knew James Dickey and they both said his house was crammed with books, stacked three and four deep in places. I'd be terrified of getting lost in there and hearing strains of "Dueling Banjos".


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