I want a love button for this. Such a a wonderful read! I’m such a book person myself and there are such kindred spirits in the words here.
Even from a small age, the tiny dollars I would scrape together in my piggy bank, I would spend at book fairs. They would send out a catalog of the fair coming to our school and we could pre-order books. I would read the little catalog so many times it was barely legible by the time it came around. Every penny I spent on books, and there weren’t that many to go around. We didn’t have much. I loved books so much I was a librarian assistant by the 3rd grade. There were library cards with my name on them in so many titles on its shelves, sometimes checked out 20 or 30 times.
All through college I worked in a bookstore, which fed my book addiction and my reading addiction (as if I didn’t have enough reading at the university…) There was a sense of camaraderie amongst the booksellers-we were among friends even when it was our first day. Book lovers are like that. Just for the love of books, most, if not all, the people who worked at this particular bookstore were so overqualified, it was insane. We counted over 20 bachelors degrees and 3 masters degrees amongst our group. They worked there because they loved books, even if they were paid absolute shit. I still count it as one of the best jobs I have ever had, not because of the company itself, but because of my bookish friends and the books I got to see every single day, like visiting dear relatives, even the crazy ones; and help people with books, something which is hard NOT to show passion for.
I have also, like you, given books away which I regret, when I moved cross-country, driving 3000 miles, all the way down the west coast and then across the entire United States into the southeast. The books didn’t all fit, and the minute I read the first part of your post, I felt the poignant pangs you felt. Because I have them myself. Like missing limbs, I search for them sometimes.
I even regret the books I parted with, when I lost a very close friend to cancer. I had to give many of her books away-there were simply too large in number-even some having been transported from Germany to England to the US to Hawaii and back to the US. Those books, the ones I remember in her house, were part of her too, like mine are to me. I miss her so much-I wish I had kept more than I did.
I wonder what will become of my book-children when I die. There are stories behind each of them, no one knows, but me. What a legacy to have and to share-I hope we all find a way to share it with someone so that the rapture they had for us can be passed on to someone else; to keep the embers of that love going.
It is so nice to hear someone so unapologetically hold on to those books-and not have to make excuses for them anymore. I admire you Foz. Keep your books and everything they represent. You and me and everyone who is bookish have a heart in common. The smell of books, the rightness, the memories they evoke-they are tangible; they manifest so many wonderful things in our lives.
I hope you never give one up again. I hope I don’t either. One of my favorite quotes about books “How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book”, by Henry David Thoreau, in Walden, is like the battlecry for bookophiles.
A toast, to new eras, in reading books…
Blessings to you Foz, and Happy Birthday.
Copyright. Holly Emberhawk of Inkberry's Quill: Lost Ink of a Bardic Amazon
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