Five reasons you have a bookcase that are nothing to do with reading

YOU have not read a book since secondary school, so why do you have a shelf full of them? These are the non-reading related reasons.

Looking clever

Have you really read Ulysses, Gravity’s Rainbow and Infinite Jest? Or do you just want to project an intellectual air for when visitors pop round? It’s the latter, of course, because you’ve given away how thick you really are by shelving them in a colour-coordinated way. Properly smart people leave books piled up in mounds on the floor.

A dumping ground for unwanted gifts

Just like DVDs before streaming came along and ruined it, books are the perfect gift to give to someone you don’t really know or like. That’s why everyone has been offloading them onto you for as long as you can remember. You felt guilty binning them and the charity shop was a bit too far away, so now you’ve got a bookcase full of the bloody things.


Books are thick, papery blocks which do a good job of blocking out the cold, which will come in handy this winter because you’re sure as f**k not putting the heating on. Their pages are great for fuelling fires too, but people tend to get a bit sensitive about that so it’s not worth the risk.

Zoom background

Most book spines are too small to read via Zoom, meaning they just all blend into a pleasantly abstract pattern of slim, colourful rectangles. All except for your Harry Potter books which stand out a mile off and make you look like an overgrown child. Your boss will use this against you when the next redundancy phase comes around.

Detritus camouflage

Shelving space is filled with even more random shit than all the other cluttered surfaces in your disgusting home, so the presence of books helps to distract from a handful of batteries, a scented candle and a long-forgotten cup of tea. If you could take the edge off all the clothes lying on your bedroom floor by throwing a few paper backs at them, you would.

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How to completely waste your Saturday morning

SATURDAY mornings are precious oases in an otherwise cruel world. Here’s how you waste this sacred time each and every week.

Do a park run

What could be a better start to the weekend than a swift 5k run on a Saturday morning? Answer: anything. After five minutes of shuffling your way around the park you’ll develop a stitch and need to keel over on the ground to be sick. Look forward to your body being seized up until you’re back at work on Monday morning. At least you got an Egg and Cheese McMuffin on the way home.

Be hungover

Celebrating the end of the working week by getting shitfaced seemed like a good idea last night, but in the cruel light of Saturday morning you’ll wish you were dead. You could be tucked up in bed watching TV, yet here you are, hunched over the toilet and begging for the room to stop spinning. Look forward to making this same mistake every week until your liver packs in.

Host a kids’ sleepover

One of the many downsides of having kids is that at some point they will want to invite friends round for a sleepover. During the week it’s all you can do to get them up in time for school, but come the weekend they’ll be up at six, loudly making breakfast, playing Call of Duty at max volume and asking for a lift into town. Will other parents offer to return the favour and give you some peace? No.

Visit a car boot sale

If you want to snap up some second-hand junk that isn’t completely useless you need to get to a car boot sale at the crack of dawn. After hours of browsing you’ll realise there’s nothing decent on offer, but you can’t come home empty-handed so you’ll buy a fiver’s worth of random shit. All of which you’ll attempt to flog at a car boot sale in a few weeks because you’re desperate and skint.

Do the big shop

Saturday morning is the best time of the week to do the big shop, right? Surely you’ll be the only tragic bastard pushing a trolley around? Guess again. The aisles will be filled with shuffling hordes of coffin dodgers who stagger through the doors as soon as they open. They’re slow, they’ll get in your way, and once you’ve finished queuing behind them it’ll be past lunchtime. Order everything online next time like a normal person.