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Old 07-16-2017   #1
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I present this as cautionary tale. If anyone wants to append their own story, I would appreciate it.

My landlady has been surprisingly tolerant of the state of my apartment, which at times has resembled a book storeroom in extreme disarray. However, she recently got insurance with a company that does inspections. (One of the pleasures of renting is periodically having strangers in your place "inspecting.") A couple of years ago the inspectors expressed some concern to her about my apartment, and she mentioned it to me, but it didn't seem like a crisis and she stopped talking about it, so I just tidied and organized a bit and then lapsed back into my lazy ways. My book-buying continued apace.

Last week the insurance company scheduled another building inspection for this coming Wednesday. Cue landlady freak-out, which she passed on to me. She told me my books are a fire hazard, so I wouldn't pass inspection. She insisted on scheduling a time for herself and a couple of her employees to come to my apartment to "help." She suggested hauling a load of books to the public library for donation. I said that I had spent money on the books and still wanted most of them. So she was going to bring boxes, as if just boxing them up would be a solution. I pointed out that there was no remaining space in my apartment to put boxes, and that was the wrong answer. So, trying to be cooperative, I said I could rent a storage unit. (This would be my second storage unit; I already rent a 10x5 one that is mostly full.)

She brightened considerably at my mention of a storage unit, and she and her employees were going to show up on Saturday to haul books. Quickly I considered: which books do I not want taken away? I started secreting books here and there, to keep them away from my landlady and her minions. And the piles of books on my upholstered furniture (which she especially didn't like) started to look more manageable. Hmm... There was a small corner-space between two bookshelf units in the bedroom. I knew I could maneuver some books one by one through the opening between the shelf units and stack them there. To my amazement, I got four chest-high stacks of books in there (held in place by the walls and the shelf units on either side), hundreds of books stacked like bricks in that corner. My upholstered furniture was free of books. And I tidied the rest of the apartment, managing to clear other bits of space here and there as I moved books to unlikely nooks and crannies.

I told my landlady that I thought my apartment was ready for the insurance inspection. I could tell she didn't believe me, but she showed up, took a quick look, and immediately said it was okay. She really is quite tolerant. Apparently books are not combustible when they are in less conspicuous locations.

On the plus side, I have regained the use of my upholstered furniture and don't have to use a fold-up lawn chair to sit on. However, I still must unfold a "tailgating" table in my kitchen for desk space when needed (that is, when my ironing board isn't sufficient).

And I currently have three books on order which I will pick up at the post office later this week, after the inspection.
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