Beside my desk are two pine bookcases joined together, six feet tall and five feet wide. They were a gift from my wife when we moved into a small graduate student apartment more than thirty years ago.
Our study was a narrow hallway connecting kitchen to bedroom, where we worked back-to-back in a space so tight that we couldn’t move our chairs simultaneously. Whoever pushed back from work first pinned the other to the task.
Those bookcases followed me – followed us – through two children, two careers, three apartments, and four houses – all big enough for separate studies.