Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Stack of Books - What Else?

I'm not sure what most newlywed couples do the first few days as husband and wife (besides the obvious), but we spent an inordinate amount of time acquiring books. Lovely lovely books - including a 60-volume leather-bound set of The Great Books of the Western World.

We started our marriage reading that marvelous "first modern novel", The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha to each other before bedtime, and dreamed of owning a bookstore.

The book has been a recurring theme throughout our marriage, buying them, reading and rereading them, and even writing a few. We've literally read the covers off a few favorites, and had to find replacement copies.

So when I did my daily cruise through the Kijiji furniture ads last night I was entranced by a large and well-loved coffee table which was built to resemble a stack of three enormous leather-bound books. At 38" x 27" this is not a dainty piece of furniture. It weighs over 100 pounds.

No matter. It was furniture love at first sight. I called as early as I dared to check that no one had pounced on it as soon as it was offered. My heart was in my mouth. It was still available! Ian was off in the mountains climbing, but the owner said he'd hold it for me until the end of the day. I sent Ian several e-mails begging him to pick it up on his way home, and about 5:30 he called to say it was in his truck and he was on his way.

It needs a bit of love, the leather is dry, cracking and peeled back in some spots. A couple of the corners are damaged, it needs a bit of paint on the legs. But glory it is gorgeous! It fits perfectly in front of the sofa, and is great for throwing your feet up on, for a plate of snacks, to play a game on or assemble a puzzle.

As a bonus each of the three books is also a large shallow drawer which will hold the laptops, cords, back-ups drives, disks etc, paperwork, CDs, stationary, the kinds of things which quickly find their way to the bottom of a deeper drawer.

My camera is missing or I would take a photo of it in our living room, but in lieu of that I will post the pictures from the ad. I have to admit Tony was not at all sure he liked it, until he sat on the sofa and put his feet up and it suddenly dawned on him that this is not just a beat-up old stack of books we're talking about here. We're talking comfort and a significant amount of storage as well as a great conversation piece.

We also bought some shelving today so once we get it assembled we can begin to unpack the boxes of books, CDs, videos and other "shelf" stuff. We need a second shelving set just like the one we bought today, but will get it the next time we go to the store. Try as I might I could not find shelves the right size on Kijiji, so finally broke down and bought new.

We are a long way from being unpacked, but little by little the story writes itself.


debbie said...

Long time reader of your blog, first time commenting. I love the table. It is so unique.
Sounds like you are having fun making your new home your home. I like seeing it all come together.
I wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

Sweetie and I were discussing your search for bookcases and they are just one of those things that have to be solid. No way around it unless you want dangerous falling events to occur or hideous sags under certain conditions.

Nice find. Good son. Enjoy.

Ravenwing said...

That has to be one of the most awesome pieces of furniture I have ever seen.

Now, like any book, ensure it contains something worthy of placing between leatherbound covers!


Cellar Door said...

Hi, is there a makers mark underneath the table or do you know where this was originally bought. I'm in the uk and my friend is looking for this exact table!! Any hints or advice of any kind would be wonderful, thank you x

Deb said...

Hi, It's made by Maitland-Smith and is called a "Savanna Leather Book Cocktail Coffee Table". There's one on e-bay for $1265 but it's in the US. The shipping cost to the UK would be astronomical, it weighs 130 lbs. Maitland-Smith has a website, you might see if they still make them. Good luck!