Dangerous Birds

Merry midweek, my magnificent Malverinos! Yes, it’s Alliteration Week in my brain and it’s Banned Books Week… everywhere. According to the American Library Association, grumpy curmudgeons have attempted to restrict our access to over 11,000 titles since 1982. And these knee-jerking jerks often object to the sweetest things, like kiddie wizards and Maya Angelou.

Banned Books Week

If you’re wondering if the land of the free really needs to devote a week to “the freedom to read,” please be sadly assured that our great nation is chock-full of feisty loons who want to restrict our access to books about gay penguins and bathing cowboys. If you want to say a hearty yah-boo-sucks to these would-be censors—and celebrate your right to read about homosexual avian hijinks—then check out these ten ways to take part in Banned Books Week.

And here’s an unlikely segue: much like the aforementioned heartless nutbars concerned conservatives, we are utterly, irrationally obsessed with standards. Yep, our blasted standards are still missing, and thus our bookshelves are still sans shelves. Several kind readers sent us emails suggesting places we might get hold of some suitably bracket-like items, but our carpenter eschews bog-standard standards and has his heart set on a particular kind (the brown kind, apparently), and so we continue to wait patiently for the arrival of all that is upright and dun-colored…

The Importance of Standards

G’day there, Malvernites! It’s Pop Quiz Wednesday! Do you notice anything strange about the handsome bespoke bookcases lurking in the background of this photograph?


If you observed that there appear to be bookcases and also shelves, but that the two seem sadly torn asunder, you are quite cheeky and also absolutely right. We are having shelf issues here at Malvern Books. (Poor shelf-esteem? Bad shelf-image? Bah!) The problem is not that the shelves are the wrong size, or riddled with angry termites. Nope, the problem is that our shameless shelves have no standards. These are standards:


Gorgeous, aren’t they? All gleaming and full of holes and ready to support some literature-laden shelves. Alas, as anyone who wrote an angry letter to the ether after Miley’s VMA art piece can tell you, standards are lacking. You’d think a quick trip to the nearest Home Depot would soon see us right, but you’d be mistaken. We need special standards—we’re ever so proper—and these special standards have been back-ordered for six weeks. Can you say gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah? If a weird and inquisitive genie had appeared before me a few months ago and asked me to make a list of seventy-five reasons why the opening of the bookstore might be slightly delayed, I can guarantee you I would’ve listed a zombie invasion, a really big earthquake, the accidental destruction of all books everywhere, and seventy-one other calamities before it would’ve occurred to me to write “maybe the shelves won’t have any little metal thingamabobs to rest on.” But they don’t, the poor shelves, and so they remain propped up against the wall, gathering dust and looking foolish. I suspect a solution will be found very quickly—we’re certainly not waiting six weeks to acquire standards—but until then: standards, people! Do watch out for them.