While assembling (okay, more pretending to help while someone else assembled) a bookcase for the Library I work at today, an interesting thought struck me (yes, I actually had one and I lived to tell the tale.)
Bookcases are like treasure chests.
Solid walls of wood encase the diamonds, emeralds and rubies of the literate and cultured world. (Some of us are capable of reading, but do not enjoy it. There are those who love reading for reading's sake and those who like reading for the subject's sake. I am the former and I will tolerate the latter. But those strange people who loathe reading in general, I pity.)
The best bookcases are the ones that are filled, top to bottom (what is an empty bookcase, after all? A crime, that's what. A sad and sorry lack of that which is good. A dull emptiness, begging to be filled.) stuffed, squeezed, glutted, bursting, full up with books, books and more books. The fuller the chest, the greater the treasure, no?
Glorious books. Ships that always have an extra spot for an eager stowaway. Planes that beg you to climb aboard and lift you into the sky of imagination. Dreams that envelope you and offer you endless possibilities. They are escapes, and yet they are grounded in humanity; men cannot write things that do not speak of men.
This makes books both windows and mirrors. They open up the horizons of other worlds and offer more insight into your own. The offer both insight and introspection.
So what else could a bookcase, loaded down with these marvelous thing, be but a treasure chest?
And so, being the good little library employee that I am, I would encourage you to go forth and find a bookcase. Library, bookstore, your neighbors house, I don't care. Find one and take a look. I guarantee it's a worthwhile investment. And speaking of investments, it is also a worthy and wonderful endeavor to build your own bookcase. Collect the jewels that mean the most to you and allow them to occupy a chest in your own home. (That way, when you're neighbor reads this, he can just come on over to your house to find a bookcase.)
And the more chests there are out there... the more likely someone else is to find one.