Like most booklovers, I often forget that the book, whose pages I hover over like god the waters of creation, is an object, a regular crude thing, like an apple or a carburetor or a rabbit’s foot. And like all physical objects, they can be used for purposes other than those for which they’re uniquely suited or well adapted. Really, you don’t have to eat that apple. You can play catch with it. You can use it for target practice, or as a paperweight, or even a temporary book mark. Now if an apple can do all these wonderful things, just imagine what a book, the world’s most iridescently exquisite object, can do? My books have doubled as trivets, plates, and platters, as pillows, footrests and lumbar support, as Yoga blocks and training weights for backpacking, as a toy and distraction for my son (which I spin on my finger as a ball on the nose of a circus seal—you should hear him squeal!), and as a brilliant decoy and stratagem. That’s right, a decoy. Because let me tell you—and, fellas, listen up and take notes—the sight of Sartre’s Being and Nothingness or some other weighty tome of mysterian gobbledygook, casually placed on a table at a coffee shop or on a bar at a pub, is absolutely irresistible to .5% of the female population. And when they see it sitting there, and see you, too, rapt in profound metaphysical abstraction, looking all deep and earnest and cutely pathetic, they (.5%!) will flock to you as to a brightly-colored decoy bobbing on the surface of the water. So. To what dual uses have you put your books?