I’m a madwoman. I mean, you all knew that, right? You’re reading this, no doubt thinking ‘what’s she done this time?’
Well, back in April I moved myself, the Little Man (who’s not so little any longer) and his Floof into a somewhat less than a thousand foot apartment. We have two beds, two baths, two walk-in closets, a microscopic kitchen, and a decent living area. I took one look at it (I’d rented it sight unseen, although we had at least seen a different apartment in the same complex) and realized most of my books were staying in storage for the time being.
So, you’ve probably gotten an inkling of just what I did last night. All I can say in my defense is that I’m homeschooling a history geek. Also, I’m prepping. All the anxiety over the state of the world has gotten to me at last.
Presses back of hand to forehead, closes eyes and tips head back.
Look, some people stockpile food against TEOTWAWKI, and some lay in ammo. I’m putting useful books on my bookshelves, ok?
I mean, my poor First Reader has already resigned himself to knowing that books are my hoard. And I learned a few years ago (coffadecadecoff) that once you have the heart of a librarian there’s no changing your destiny. Besides which, I have regretted lo, these many years having gotten rid of the 1885 Encyclopaedia Britannica even if it was missing two volumes. I’ll never find it’s like again.
Which is why I hopped on a set from 1959. That, and the fun thing about buying from folks in the local online marketplace is that you get their stories along with the item, many times. At least, I do. I’ve met some lovely people doing this, and in this case, it made my day, a sweet old lady’s, and my son’s. She told me as she was loading them into my arms to be taken to my car that her father bought them, not long after he was in Pharmacy school, at least that was what she’d always thought, until I asked her what the copyright date was, and she realized they must have been a later purchase, as he was in school in the 1940s. From the good bindings, I’d say they were likely an investment once his career was going and his family started. I messaged her later to tell her my son was excited about them, and she was very happy I’d let her know that.
It’s funny, what all we add to a book. It’s not just the story, or the content, it’s the story about the story. In this case? History is being sanitized all out of recognition. So I’m giving my son a window into the not-too-distant past. I also have history text books that date back to the nineteenth century (although most of my antiques are in storage.) which will give him yet another perspective. Yes, things change. But sometimes, things are changed, and that’s what books like these help illuminate.
Also, if the zombie apoc comes, and civilization collapses, I shall be valued for my stash of rare and delicate purveyors of fine information. Or something like that.
(Header image: Inspector Gidget atop a tall tippy tower of books. The inset photo is her deciding she’d had enough of our nonsense)