IN the days when furniture was defined as “that which may be carried about,” the natural bookcase was a chest with a strong lock. These chests, packed with precious manuscripts, followed the prince or noble from one castle to another, and were even carried after him into camp. Before the invention of printing, when twenty or thirty books formed an exceptionally large library, and many great personages were content with the possession of one volume, such ambulant bookcases were sufficient for the requirements of the most eager bibliophile.
I enjoyed Henry Petroski’s treatise on book shelving called The Book on the Book Shelf. I am also enjoying Edith Wharton’s 1897 chapter on a smilar topic. [thanks will!]