I’ve dedicated a good portion of the last 15 years to reading. It’s been my main (dare I say only?) hobby, passion and one-true-love. I spent many hours reading, discussing and reviewing books. I also spent a good amount of time and money collecting them. Thousands of books have passed through my personal library over the last decade. I used to keep every book I read, whether I loved it or hated it. Back then, if I had 5 books in my to-be-read pile I got anxiety. Then I slowly started weeding out the books I didn’t love and figured I’d never read again. And my TBR pile grew to 20. As time went on I culled a lot more of my print library, keeping only my absolute favorites and my full collections. And my TBR pile grew to thousands (though a good number of those are digital..curse you, one-click!).
Over the summer we bought a new house and moved. The new house has a ton of natural light – which is wonderful, – but all the windows take up wall space I could have used for bookshelves. I decided it was time to brutally cut down my print collection. I kept pretty much only signed copies and my full collections. Linda Howard, Lisa Kleypas, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Nalini Singh, etc. These are the collections that include very book by the author. Some signed. All in great condition.
One of the largest – and most prized- of my collections, the In Death series by J.D. Robb disappeared in the move. I’m pretty sure it got put in with the donation boxes, though I can’t be 100% certain. I spent years collecting them. The full, complete series, including novellas, mostly in hardback. It was beautiful. And it’s gone. Gone.
It wasn’t until we’d been in the new house a couple months that I noticed they were missing. We still had some boxes in the garage that hadn’t been unpacked and I figured they were mixed in with those. Eventually all the boxes were unpacked and the books still hadn’t turned up. I called the places we usually donate to, but they didn’t have them. Either they were donated elsewhere or they were already gone by the time I called.
Over the years as I switched to mostly digital reading, I’d been slowly purchasing my favorites in e-format, so I have pretty much the entire series in e already, but that doesn’t lesson my anger and sadness over the loss of these beloved books. My heart is broken.
Back in February of this year, my husband’s aunt moved in with us. She has dementia. She’s a huge reader and books give her great pleasure. But she has strange ticks that come with her disease. One of them is hoarding/hiding books and destroying them. She pulls pages out and crumples them, bends and creases the covers and, in comes cases, even shreds them. I have no idea why. I don’t blame her for it. It isn’t something she can help. However, before we moved my entire collection of books was at her disposal and she destroyed a number of my books. Some of them weren’t very important to me, but others…oh how I mourn them. Several signed copies, or ones given to me directly by authors. The pain!
Most people don’t understand. “They’re just books, Holly”. Or “You can buy new ones.” Both are true. They are just books and I can buy new copies. But that isn’t really the point. It’s hard to say goodbye. And while these may be just books, I was pretty damn attached to them.