A Book Lover’s Guide to IKEA seating

Posted by @ 11:37 am on August 24th, 2009

Say what you will about cookie-cutter culture, IKEA offers affordable furniture that doesn’t smell like the 1970’s. When enjoying your favorite book, it’s important to be seated properly — or at least in a way that compliments your reading experience. Here is a guide to what to read, and in what chairs.

I.

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Expensive couch

This is a really expensive leather couch, ideal for books which reflect the opulent lifestyle, like American Psycho and The Great Gatsby. We learn in literature that money is not good, like all the bad people are rich and all the good people are poor. I don’t think this is a healthy attitude — now there’s some artistic nobility to being unemployed. I know I’m not your dad, but “get a job.” If I were the guy in American Psycho, I would not “freak out” (murder, crying into voicemail, etc.) and just keep my kick-ass job and eat good filet mignon at lunch and have sex with a lot of models.

II.

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Fluffy flower chair

This chair is perfect for either 19th century books authored by women, or books written by homosexual men. We recommend Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Howard’s End by E.M. Forster, An Awkward Age by Henry James, Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh, and Light Boxes by Shane Jones (j/k). It’s funny (sad?) how people still make fun of others by calling them gay. One time, out of curiosity, I fellated a cucumber to see if I had good technique and suddenly wanted a salad. Enough gay talk, we all know literature is not gay (cough).

III.

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Foldout couch

This fold-out couch is recommended for intense reading experiences which require reads into the night. These books are often called “tombs,” and generally read by neurotic and/or depressed men. Typical books of this nature are War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann, Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon, The Recognitions by William Gaddis, Infinite Jest by D.F. Wallace, Europe Central by William Vollman, and 2666 by Robert Bolano. When your eyes and brain can’t take it anymore, simply use your book as a pillow by inserting your nose into the spine. The next morning, you will feel 0.02% smarter.

IV.

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Futurist Chair

This is a futurist looking chair which will compliment books about our future: Brave New World, 1984 (um, that’s ages ago, but still), Fahrenheit 451, The Road, etc. All books about the future are dystopian because nobody wants to read a predicable book about the future. Imagine a book called “2010” about a guy who goes to work everyday and drinks other people’s sodas in the fridge and drafts stories veiled in Microsoft Outlook as work-related emails, and craps as much as he can at work in order to deplete toilet paper, to “get back” at his employers for the low salary. That book would be boring, right? (Any publishers interested please email me.)

V.

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Lame Chair

I was surprised to see this third-world type “lame chair” in IKEA’s catalog, but literature has always embraced ventures into the east and west. When straining your back on this “lame chair,” you’d do well to try out The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles, A Passage to India by E.M. Forster, Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M Coetzee, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and What is the What by Dave Eggers. These books all deal with transcultural immersion and “outward experience”; too bad the chairs are sometimes lame.





VI.

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Franzen Chair

This chair comes with Jonathan Franzen. Some important notes while assembling this chair: make sure you do it correctly the first time, no mistakes. If you screw up, Johathan Franzen will publish an article in The New Yorker about how people in America are dumb, using you as an example. He also might mention how he had this girlfriend who was a mechanical engineering grad student at MIT and how he made coffee in the morning, and how contemporary their relationship was, hanging out betwixt Cambridge and New York City. Also, you’ll make his day if you ask him to read from The Corrections to you. You’ll need to sit on his lap, and no — that’s not a mechanical pencil — he’s just happy to read to you.

This concludes our Book Lover’s Guide to IKEA seating. Remember, literature is a civilized sport; please read responsibly. And to our readers in Sweden, trevlig trä!

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