I’ve always collected books. Growing up, one of my favourite authors became Gay Gavriel Kay. I returned to his novels at many different points in my life, re-reading, and re-reading. And, I am not a re-reader – once I read something it’s very rare I return to it. However, I’m also a hoarder of books. I can’t part with one, even if it means it’ll sit on my shelf for ten years without being re-read.
When I was a little girl I wouldn’t lend out a book because I couldn’t tolerate it if the book came back with a crease in the spine, or a rumbled page. I used to read somehow without breaking in the spine. I’ve relaxed as I got older, but I do very distinctly remember hunting someone down for months when I was in my late teens to get back a series of books I had lent him. I finally showed up at his door with a few friends and demanded it back from his parents. I was a book bully!
This summer we found out we had a severe mold infestation in our basement. We had to tear apart the whole basement, and throw out a lot of stuff. We had to throw out all of my books. It wasn’t hard to do it. My husband was shocked at how easy I let go. We’d been having health problems for four years, and to find out that was the cause, I just wanted it all gone.
BUT, it’s been about two and half months now, and this morning I felt a pang at all those books gone. I wanted to re-read one of Gay Gavriel Kay’s books, and I realized I didn’t have it anymore. This got me thinking about all the books I lost. Some that took me ages to find, gifts, others that represented certain moments in my life, and others that were just fantastic books that added to me, and were a wonderful experience. All my textbooks were gone, my fantastic reference books.
It’s the second time I lose my collection of books. When I was a kid and my parents moved, somehow all the boxes with my books were misplaced. Yes, the very ones I was so anal about keeping brand spanking new, gone. All my Little Women, and yes, Little Men, my Anne of Green Gables – gone!! I think to this day my Anne books are the ones I miss the most. My Narnia, Lord of the Rings, and my Sweet Valley Highs, and VC Andrews, and even my Dr. Seuss and Judy Blooms! The list can gone on and on! I was an avid reader and won the summer reading book list at the library every year by leaps and bounds. All those books – gone!
So, now I begin collecting books again. I start this collection with The Canadian Writers Market (cause I had loaned it out and it was saved), Twilight (for the same reason). I have a few mommy babby books, and my kids have some books in their rooms but all our holiday collections and special books that I kept on shelves were thrown out as well, so I begin with some children’s Halloween story books that I bought to get us going again. And the one book that was salvaged (that my husband cleaned because he couldn’t part with), is my graduate thesis: Regulation of Translation from the Internal Ribosomal Entry Site of the Hepatitis C Virus. How’s that for stale reading?