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Local ladders

There is a psychological disorder known as a biblioholicism. It means that a person is a compulsive collector of books. Do not be alarmed, but this columnist could be considered a borderline case.

There is a psychological disorder known as a biblioholicism.

It means that a person is a compulsive collector of books.

Do not be alarmed, but this columnist could be considered a borderline case.

At his home there are books everywhere, and more seem to arrive every week.

It does not help that one of his many under-paid jobs is at the Raven Recycling Society.

The free store there is a constant source of new reading material.

Add the fine used book heaven of Well-Read Books, the occasional gems of reading material found at the Salvation Army and the wonderful new books available at Macs Fireweed and it all means there are lots of books to be found in the Yukon’s capital city.

In addition, garage sale season is about to start.

This means that even more books will be purchased.

The issue with books is that they require storage space.

Specifically, they require book shelves.

Now this biblioholic is fortunate enough to reside in a somewhat trendy condominium which has a four-metre high ceiling in the front room.

Being of an inventive mind and somewhat familiar with many a television series or film that features an English manor house with a library, the obvious book storage solution is floor-to-ceiling bookshelves with a rolling ladder to access the top shelves.

These rolling ladders have wheels on the base and are attached to the shelves with a fancy piece of hardware that allows the ladder to roll the length of the shelves.

As can be imagined, this sort of specialized mechanism is not available at just any hardware store.

In fact, it seems they are only available from companies located in the United States.

And they insist on selling the entire package, hardware plus ladder.

It is not possible to purchase just the hardware. The ladder must be purchased as well.

Depending on which company the hardware and ladder are purchased from, this could mean shipping a large ladder all the way from New York State to the Yukon territory.

Imagine the carbon footprint of that, never mind the shipping cost.

Besides, there are lots of competent carpenters available in the Yukon.

Thus it was decided to engage a local Yukon carpenter to build the ladder.

An attempt would be made to purchase the hardware without the ladder.

This has been unsuccessful so far, but the ladder can just be leaned against the shelves until this issue is overcome.

Now the carpenter selected for this project is a well-educated and thoughtful individual.

Not only is he well read, he is also well travelled and was keen to take on such an interesting project.

It is also suspected that he approves of the concept of engaging Yukon contractors to build items for Yukon residents, as opposed to purchasing items from Outside.

Unfortunately he was not able to commence working on the project immediately due to an upcoming vacation.

He disappeared to Greece for a few weeks.

It was sort of work related, in that he would be able to research what the Greeks did as far as rolling library ladders go.

When he returned, there were various scheduling conflicts and delays, mostly due to this columnist.

It was more than a year before the rolling ladder project could be revisited.

By this time, it was time for the carpenter to take anther vacation, this time to France.

Not to worry, though, as it too could partly be considered a rolling-library-ladder research trip.

While this well-paid carpenter was gallivanting around the globe, a friend announced that she would be travelling to Holland and would also research how rolling library ladders were built.

Additional acquaintances were going off to Cuba on a bicycling trip, and they too would do some research.

It must be mentioned that both the Dutch and Cuban travellers did send back useful information, including electronic photographs of different types of rolling ladders.

Of course, the carbon footprint of all this travel is huge.

It sort of negates the whole concept of buying a local ladder.

The carbon footprint of shipping a ladder up from New York would have been less.

But travelling to foreign lands allows Yukon residents to understand and experience new ideas.

It also ensures that in this particular case the carpenter has many designs and concepts of rolling library ladders to work from.

For those who are interested, the ladder should be ready any week now.

The next project this columnist is contemplating is a loft for his condominium.

The carpenter is very keen.

He anticipates a field trip to many a lofty locale to do research.

Depending on this research, the carbon footprint could be huge.

Those who are keen on supporting local businesses will, however, be able to sleep peacefully at night knowing that the ladder and the loft will have been locally made.

Lewis Rifkind is a Whitehorse based part-time environmentalist.