Friday, September 29, 2017
The mysterious problem with shelving
I am not accustomed to airing my petty grievances on this blog. Or, I am not accustomed to doing anything other than airing my petty grievances on this blog. I forget which. I don't know why my staff can't keep me up on this, it's infuriating!
So let's talk about shelving. Shelving is like petty grievances personified. But today's petty grievance is going to be backed up by math, so you're going to love it. After all, aren't you always asking:
"How come more of your blog posts aren't about math?"
I'm pretty sure...
Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree.
Right, so, to the problem:
There are five levels of shelves for our library books. When I shelve, as I did earlier this afternoon, these five are the shelves I shelve onto. But these shelves are not equal. I will rate them for you on a scale of one to ten with ten meaning they are delightful to shelve onto and one meaning they are a hideous torture to shelve onto.
The top shelf is a five.
Not that nice to shelve on, but tolerable. The problem is that one can't get leverage up there to move the books around and squeeze a new one on. It's all a bit of a strain, especially with larger books. I'm looking at you non-fiction books.
The second to top shelf is a shelf paradise. It is a ten.
If all shelving were on that level I would never complain about shelving, or drag my feet, or stand up there writing blog posts. I would shelve shelve shelve with a blissful smile on my face and a song in my heart. Well, maybe not always, but certainly like ten percent of the time.
The third shelf is an eight.
Very nice but a bit below ideal height.
The fourth shelf is a four.
It is at an awkward height, but with some careful contortions it is possible to shelve on it without back-dangerous bending or squatting.
The fifth shelf doesn't get a number because it is evil.
It is too evil for a number. It is the proof that there are malignant forces at work in the Universe.
Twenty percent of all books to be shelved should be on that hideous bottom shelf, or probably less because since it's such a miserable, hideous shelf, fewer patrons browse from it and fewer books are checked out from it. That's just pure math.
And so there is no explanation for why 62 percent of all books to be shelved go on that stupid bottom shelf.
What on earth am I supposed to believe about the nature of the universe?