built-in desktop

enocuk

Senior Member
Turkish - Istanbul
Hello everyone,

This is from Rebecca Solnit's Recollections of My Nonexistence:

"The east room was my bedroom and office, with a long, built-in desktop held up at its center by the old spindle-legged desk."

The part I've had hard time understanding is "a long, built-in desktop"... Is Solnit referring to a desktop computer or a top of the desk? I couldn't imagine how a desktop computer could be "long" and the remaining part of the sentence (including a/another desk, no less) didn't make much sense.

Straining all my brain power, I guess there was a long, built-in desktop computer [in the wall] at the center of the room, somewhat at a high position [because it is held UP], and this desktop computer was right by [beside] the old spindle-legged desk? God, I've been studying, reading, translating from, English for 25 years now, but still it gets me!

I'd appreciate any help that will help me make sense of this sentence.
Thanks!
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hello. That passage is not very clear, but I assume that the long, built-in desktop was a permanent installation - something similar to shelves or cabinets that have been permanently installed in a room. Apparently, the desktop was supported by another desk that sat underneath it.
     

    enocuk

    Senior Member
    Turkish - Istanbul
    Hello. That passage is not very clear, but I assume that the long, built-in desktop was a permanent installation - something similar to shelves or cabinets that have been permanently installed in a room. Apparently, the desktop was supported by another desk that sat underneath it.
    Thank you for your help owlman5. Actually this was what I suspected. If you'd like to take a look at the context, here is a larger excerpt from around the sentence:

    "I was an early riser, and she was catching up on much-needed sleep, and the attic had just two large rooms. The kitchen and the daybed on which guests slept were in the west room. The east room was my bedroom and office, with a long, built‑in
    desktop held up at its center by the old spindle-legged desk. So the morning of the 25th, rather than disturb her rest, I sat down at that desk once again and did her bidding."
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Think of it as a countertop. Sort of like in a kitchen, but lower. It's low enough to sit down in a chair and use it like a desk. And it could be ten or fifteen feet long - three to five meters. It's so long that even though it is supported on the ends it needs some support in the middle. So they used the old desk that was there originally to support it. They built the countertop right on top of it.

    Not exactly like this but I think you can get the idea.

    countertop+desk+diy.jpg
     
    Last edited:

    enocuk

    Senior Member
    Turkish - Istanbul
    Think of it as a countertop. Sort of like in a kitchen, but lower. It's low enough to sit down in a chair and use it like a desk. And it could be ten or fifteen feet long - three to five meters. It's so long that even though it is supported on the ends it needs some support in the middle. So they used the old desk that was there originally to support it. They built the countertop right on top of it.

    Not exactly like this but I think you can get the idea.

    View attachment 62954
    Thank you very very much, now I get the meaning! You've been really helpful.
     
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