Whenever my parents come to visit I always feel as if I’m gorging…on books. A love of reading and a love of books runs deep in my family’s veins. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings.
After my dad’s mom died, he and my mom went through her house to sort things etc and ended up taking home about a bazillion books that she had collected. All ancient and none of them collector’s editions. We’re talking old paperbacks and ratty hardbacks. Now my parents’ basement is chock full of books. Books crammed on bookshelves, in boxes, and then floating willy nilly throughout the house.
I don’t have that luxury, though it seems I am acquiring their books. I told my mom that when she died I wanted all of her Georgette Heyer books. And now I’ve added all of her Agatha Christie books as well. She’s cool with it. In fact, she’s not waiting for her death and told me at the end of this last visit that whatever books she brings to me get left with me…for forever. My guess is that they’re running out of living room.
Now I even have some of my grandma’s Agatha Christie books. It’s terrifying really.
I am terrified of breaking my grandmother’s books. Then I’ll be the one who destroyed her stuff. We’re talking paperbacks from the time when they cost, like, 40 cents or less.
What a deal!!!!
Then I get to my mom’s generation of copies and they cost, like, $1.50. Still mind boggling!
Then my generation comes up…anywhere from $7 to $13. WHAT?!
True, it’s usually pretty cheap if it’s an e-book but then you don’t get a hardcopy. I try to buy used but even then a lot of times they’re still a bit pricey. And I want my book to be as blemish-free as possible which isn’t always possible.
There was one point in my life when I had to give up practically ALL of my books. We had no space. Sacrifices had to be made. So out went the books. It was heart-wrenching but I got over it.
It’s my belief that one shouldn’t be emotionally attached to physical items. We should learn to let go and not be hindered by material objects. I try to practice this belief with everything in my life, including books. Though I stumble along the way and some things are harder to let go than others, I do rather well living this way.
However, I don’t like getting rid of books. Nor do I enjoy giving up movies or music. I take great pleasure in acquiring, not relinquishing. And I’ve rebuilt my books collection. It’s not very big but it’s big enough. I don’t need a huge collection right now because my local library rocks.
What would you hate to give up?