August 18, 2005
Harmless Prank or Needless Irritant?
The ministry of reshelving project involves reshelving copies of Orwell's 1984 and leaving behind notecards to indicate where you've reshelved the book. Is it a statement, or a game, or extra work for bookstore clerks?
Interesting how private commercial spaces have become quasi-public playgrounds. We've seen this with shopping centers - the senior mall-walkers and the mall rats who come around for reasons other than shopping. Bookstores (and libraries, for that matter) that create inviting spaces to browse, sit, mingle and have coffee seem to be regarded as extensions of public spaces, perhaps even of our living rooms. The latter is especially true in places where people live in cramped apartments and prefer to meet up in a more common, communal space.
Having worked in retail and being one of those who currently shelve books, I'm simultaneously amused and annoyed. But whatever. *Shrug*
I do wonder though what these kinds of "projects" signify. Meta-play? Like we're children or animals less interested in the toys we have than the discarded packaging.
The easy answer is escapism. Like we're lab rats purposely losing ourselves in the maze because reaching the end doesn't mean anything anymore.