The Barrister

The way items find their way into our house via Craigslist has a very typical pattern. We need an item, say a bookcase to hold media equipment next to the fireplace. I obsessively search different places for a cheap option, not finding anything I really like. Then I randomly find something on Craigslist for 8 billion dollars and become completely obsessed with finding said item for $50. The latest item to follow this specific pattern of insanity is our new bookcase.

I conducted a very specific search on Craigslist, “old bookcase”. Amid the many postings of heavily abused particle board models was a listing for Barrister bookcase stacks. They were perfect. The wood, the glass fronts, the size! My heart sang, but for $150 a stack my song went kind of flat. Thus began the obsession with finding an affordable barrister bookcase. Unfortunately, other people feel the same way about the Barristers, which leads to a high selling price.

I knew if I scoured craiglist often enough someone, somewhere had to be getting rid of one and didn’t care that hipsters and yuppies would be willing to pay lots of money for it. Bingo! A couple of weeks later one popped up on CL. “$50 for a 2 stack oak lawyer bookcase in good shape”, within 24 hours it was mine. It’s not in mint shape but I can make almost anything look good with a sanding blocking and some wax.

When I got it home I found that it’s a Globe Wernicke bookcase. Big name that people sell for lots of moolah. Prompting my husband to want to sell it to aforementioned yuppie or hipster for $200, but I would never give up my sweet Craigslist treasure.

It was so treasured that it sat in the garage for 3 weeks before I finally got around to giving the Barrister a high class makeover suitable for a professional of his stature.

He had a lot of scratches, a few chips and someone went a little sticker crazy leaving lots of residue. I sanded everything with a fine sanding sponge (using a medium sponge for some of the nasty grime and sticker residue), wiped everything down with a microfiber cloth and then cleaned it with Murphy’s Oil Soap. I treated the whole thing with Howard Feed-N-Wax, gave it a good buff and voila!

He looks and smells like a real Barrister (assuming Barristers look and smell really good).

The DVD player and cable box will go inside the bookcase once I get the courage to drill a hole in the back to put the cords through. I’m going to wait until I know that this is the Barrister’s final resting place.

He might be a little big for the space, but we are going to try him out for a few weeks and see how we feel. Happy for now…


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