My husband and I are having bookshelves built into the walls of our library. It has been so exciting-and a little frustrating if truth were told-to watch as a room, with hundreds of books piled as high as the eight-foot ceiling, has slowly transformed. We are still waiting for the process to be completed; yet, I can feel the books, which have been packed away for over a year, call out to me: Read Us! I can’t wait to put them away, thumbing through the ones I have read and the ones I haven’t and deciding things like, does Spinoza get shelved with religion or philosophy? What a delicious exercise to categorize and reread as I go, and, finally, to be able add them all to Library Thing. I’m doing mental cartwheels if you can’t tell already.
Yet, while I relish the prospect of seeing and putting away our beloved books that have been collected by us over the course of 30 years from library sales, garage sales, dusty, used bookstores where we literally had to hack our way through a film of dust and cobwebs, as gifts, and from a multitude of other places, I found out earlier this week that some of our friends experienced a terrible flood and lost a number of their dearly-loved texts. I’m not sure that anyone could love books more than my husband and I do, but, if anyone could, they’re pretty good candidates. Their loss, but also a wonderful description of their experiences regarding their books can be read at http://littlebookroom.blogspot.com/. If you love books, please visit their blog. The entries regarding the flood made me mourn; they also made me incredibly grateful. I’ve been privileged to fall in love over and over again with books and the characters and ideas therein and to have many wonderful discussions of Great Books (and not so Great Books) with insightful friends. I am hopeful for my friends that they shall not only recover the collection they lost-so that it can be passed on to their son-but that they will continue to delight in reading together and enjoying relationships they have with other booklovers. It doesn’t matter how many texts they have at any given time; they will always be able to pass on their abiding love of reading and writing.