In the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, among the messes that resulted was the toppling of every one of my brother’s bookcases. A lot of them, particularly his narrow shelf of cassettes, were, as he pointed out, simply top-heavy, and came down with the slightest shift in their center of gravity. It seemed to me, that if a bookcase were sloped backward, that would be less of an issue. Later on, it occurred to me that while my own bookcases all have equal-sized shelves, my books are certainly not all the same size. A kind of pyramid would make more sense.
A few years ago, I brushed up on some geometry and designed a pyramid bookcase.
I showed the design to a cabinetmaker, who at first said he didn't see how it would work. After looking at the designs for a bit, he remarked, “It isn’t even so much a piece of furniture, as it is a work of art, isn’t it? Can I borrow these plans?”