It’s not your fault

The new bookshelves have arrived and moved into place in the living room.

They’re sleek, they’re low, they’re formed from aircraft-grade aluminium folded to avoid the shelves sagging. They look great in that expensive yet understated nothing-to-look at way.

You place the books on the thin lightweight shelves. Two bookshelves side by side. Three meters of books across two lean shelves.

You sit on a sofa on the other side of the room. Everything you hold dear is expressed in those rows of books. Art, literature, stories, knowledge, ideas, essays, thoughts.

But something’s not right. The second shelf on the left seems to sag ever so slightly in the centre. (Seriously, what’s wrong with you? Who notices something like this? Who worries about such minutiae?)

You zip out the tape measure. The centre sags exactly 2.8mm. Damn. It’s because you’ve stacked the heavier folios in the centre.

You swap them out with the lighter folios on the ends. You sit back on the sofa and you know it’s still not perfect. You measure again and you see the centre now sags just under 1mm.

Relax. It’s not your fault.

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