We get it: books are rectangles. We thought we made a rectangle when we published As They Fall by Ivy Johnson, but turns out we published a “deck of cards,” which, as a series of small rectangles, can be a challenge to put in a bookshelf. For those who have asked, “Where do I put this thing if not in my bookshelf?” and, “How do I store this object when I’m not obsessively reading it?”—don’t worry! We heard the cries of “book”stores and owners of “book”shelves and prepared a list of alternative ways to store As They Fall for those perplexed by its shape and size.
1) Store the cards unbound in a large marble birdbath in front of your door. Greet each of your guests with a card as they come in. Use their card as an ice breaker.
2) Wallpaper is expensive and screw buying paint from Benjamin Moore: cover your walls with individual cards held by sticky tack. This will make your home’s walls both inviting and intimidating to guests. This says “I care about interior design, but also want to design my walls to look like they are covered in ants when you squint.”
3) Put one card in every book you have bought but never gotten around to reading. This will likely give you room for a few different decks, as you keep sending all your money on books saying things like “This summer, I’m gonna change my habits. This is gonna be MY summer.” It’s almost September and that copy of 1Q84 just seems to look longer every day.
4) FOR BOOKSTORES: We recognize that it can be difficult to organize your shelves stocked with important classics, such as 6 different copies of The Annotated Lolita, but consider using your copies of As They Fall cards as labels for your book sections. Instead of Art Criticism, employ the “drawing is silent” card. Instead of Travel, employ the “as if returning were possible” card.
5) FOR BOOKSTORES: Shelf talkers are a must, but they take time to create. Save time for your staff by using cards from As They Fall instead of writing these blurbs out. For example, Fahrenheit 451 can match with “set fire to it,” In Cold Blood can match with “in a Midwestern tableau,” and Gravity’s Rainbow with “throbs w/ a flash.”
6) Put in a tissue box positioned so that when you pull out a tissue, you also pull out a card. When you want to blow your nose, cry, or clean up a mess, you’ll be greeted with a card as well. This will make your tissue use more festive and spontaneous. Though this method is not always recommended, as it can lead to some awkward coincidental empathy: if you are crying and draw the “i am revolting” card, your mood may not improve.
7) For those with children, store the cards where you store your board games. Every few game nights, instead of playing Candy Land or Monopoly, play As They Fall. Though it is turn-based, there are no rules and no goals. When they draw “it was true” and ask, “What was true, mommy?” tell them “You were.” Let them eat extra cake tonight.