product review

My New Book Stand

My review of Clear Solutions Displays, Plywood Display Three Tier (4904) Stand

My decision when choosing a stand was not taken lightly. I scoured the web looking for the perfect one to take with me on book signings. It needed to be lightweight, have enough room for all my stuff, and fit in a suitcase. While this rack covers all my "must haves", I don't love it nearly as much as I hoped.

Let me start by saying that when I found this stand, I was stoked.  At $17, I considered it a steal. But $14 shipping?? Seriously? (NO, I did NOT take off points for shipping - that would be insane!) But, after a few days of mulling it over, I figured, "what the hell?" This stand has everything I was looking for, plus it's pretty which is a major bonus.

Shipping was quick (for $14 it better be!) and before I knew it, my lovely stand had arrived! It was packed fairly well. Each piece was wrapped up tight. There were no dings or cracks in the wood. Everything was hunky dory except - no instructions.

Being a card-carrying member of the Ikea generation, surely this sucker couldn't be that hard to construct, right? Tab a/slot b/Swedish meatballs ... le sigh.

Yeah, I had no idea what I was doing. It was a jigsaw puzzle of epic proportions and I had no idea what went where. Were there extra pieces included? This thing seemed like a much better idea a week prior when I was hitting "complete order."

I race over to my computer to pull up the website. OF COURSE - the instructions are electronic! I could go online, print out those bad larrys and get this sucker together before my Lean Cuisine had finished it’s laps around the microwave. DOH! Foiled again. Not only are the instructions mysteriously missing, I'm certain there are parts in front of me that aren't on the picture listed. I stare at the image dumbfounded, channeling my inner Agatha Christie to help me solve the mystery at hand. 

I tackled this bitch like cavemen inventing the wheel, grunting and groaning as I went. Finally, at long last, I figure it out. I stand back and ogle the fantastical creation before me. This must be what Ty Pennington feels like whenever he completes a project!! I set my book babies atop its glorious shelves (shelves with pockets - NOT PICTURED) and snap some photos for Instagram because, DUH! Victory was mine! I'd gotten it together and all was right with the world.

Then it came time to take it apart.

Um ... yeah ... these pieces slid together like a dream, yet pulling them apart was more akin to nightmares. I. COULD. NOT. GET. IT. APART.

I tugged, I toiled -- I broke two nails! Good God, this isn't just a stand. It's the most indestructible force in the universe! Agatha Christie, don't fail me now!! I race to the garage to grab a crowbar. (Ok ok, it was a flat head screwdriver. Bear with me, I'm on a roll) Carefully - because pretty though it may be, it's still only plywood after all - I fit the tool between the seams and pry them apart. A sweat had begun to build on my brow. This was intricate work. I did NOT want to destroy my new book stand! Lord only knows how much they'd charge me to ship it back!

Elbow grease and determination are a musty cologne, but I did it. I got it apart and packed safely back in the box. I took a deep breath and enjoyed my microwave Swedish Meatballs with a side of triumph.

The stand won the battle but it lost the war! Unfortunately, it has to go back ...