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.
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.
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.
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.