The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Where to keep your heavy books

with 8 comments

Gary Brady passes on a near-tragedy in the life of Richard Baxter:

Another time, as I sat in my Study, the Weight of my greatest Folio Books brake down three or four of the highest Shelves, when I sat close under them, and they fell down on every side me, and not one of them hit me, save one upon the Arm; whereas the Place, the Weight, and greatness of the Books was such, and my Head just under them, that it was a Wonder they had not beaten out my Brains, one of the Shelves right over my Head having the six Volumes of Dr. Walton‘s Oriental Bible, and all Austin‘s Works, and the Bibliotheca Patrum, and Marlorate, &c. (Reliquiae, 1.82)

Clearly the lesson learned is to keep your heavy books on the low shelves.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Thursday 21 July 2011 at 16:59

Posted in General

8 Responses

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  1. I wonder if, in 20 years there will be any weighty books to fall!


    Thursday 21 July 2011 at 17:06

    • All Austin’s Works might survive a little longer, but I believe that Dr Walton’s Oriental Bible and the others may already have gone the way of all leatherbound parchment. Mind you, I think it’s an occupational hazard. Wasn’t John Gill almost killed sitting at his study desk?

      Jeremy Walker

      Thursday 21 July 2011 at 18:33

      • Actually I was lamenting the demise of printed books. :-) No danger being fatally struck by a microchip edition of Owens works!


        Thursday 21 July 2011 at 19:55

        • Doesn’t it depend on how far it falls? What is the terminal velocity of a microchip? Is it one of those weird physics issues where it is exactly the same as a ton of lead, or something like that? In which case, surely if your shelf were high enough, and you were awkwardly placed underneath it when the Owen microchip, or datastick with your library on it, or whatever, toppled off (admittedly, it’s more unlikely that the shelf would collapse under its weight), there could be significant danger.

          Apart from all that, I am far from ready to relinquish the printed book. A sheet of printed parchment and one of those old-fashioned writing sticks are much to be appreciated.

          Jeremy Walker

          Thursday 21 July 2011 at 20:02

          • You math guys always intimidate me! Nonetheless, for my part I am willing to risk “Death by Owen” rather than part with the printed page!


            Thursday 21 July 2011 at 21:03

            • Another time, as I sat in my thinking Pod, it happened that the Micro Chip of Owen, being by then no greater than the thumbprint of a Gnat, did become displaced from the low shelf on which it was lodged, and as I did begin to compose a Tweet thereupon, it did verily fly towards me and all to took me eye out. Then did I mourn and lament that ever Mankind did forsake the Printed Page, for then indeed was the end of Civilisation as we know it.


              Thursday 21 July 2011 at 22:52

              • The danger of the displaced microchip in the thinking pod – we’re not far away, are we?

                Jeremy Walker

                Thursday 4 August 2011 at 13:49

  2. […] Where to keep your heavy books « The Wanderer […]

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