Yesterday, one of the genealogical lists I am on received a posting from someone who has been involved in cataloguing a personal book collection. The owner of the collection had died last year and each book title was added to a database along with detail of photographs, notes on index cards found in the books. The chap they belonged was 80 when he died, and this collection probably spanned the best part of 50 years. Many of the books had inscriptions in them, and again these were recorded.
Then the postman delivered a slim bookring, called Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman. A delightful little book that has a certain charm about it. The storyline is amusing in parts - on merging her book collection with her husband's the author comments that they are truely married - in reality they had been married at least 5 years by this point.
As if that wasn't enough,Loopy on the BCUK list this morning posted about the excitment of reading, with these questions "What's it like for you? Do you still experience that total magic? What's the last book you read that you couldn't put down? How long ago was it? Do you still feel you enjoy reading as much as you did as a child?"
These three coincidence have all made me think about books, and actually what they mean.
When I discovered Book Crossing, I hadn't culled my reading material in 20 years. Every book I had ever bought, I still had. I had lost a few books along the way, lent them to people who had not given them back,but in the main 20 years of books sitting in my study, at the top of the house, The poor removal men,when we moved in, had to carry all the boxes of books up at least 32 stairs! Most of the books were from the wonderful,and much missed Thorps Bookshop in Guildford. I spent much of the summer of 2004 going through my books, keep or eBay. Then I discovered BC and a third pile was formed.
I developed my love of reading because of my Mum, who would buy me a book a week. I still have my set of Noddy Books all clutching the price ticket of 12p! and these are much treasured. Now, I view fiction books are Book Crossing material. There are a few that I have enjoyed so much they are part of my permenant collection, but in the main they can be replaced if I really want another copy.
Despite Book Crossing I do collect various books - those about Thyroid and various local history & genealogical books, and a few special cook books.
Yes, I still enjoy reading as much as a child. I can loose myself completely in a book and apparently, If spoken too, I grunt an answer. I recently read A Good Yarn by Debbie Macomber and this was one of those books I could not put down, another book that I enjoyed was called the Granger Chronicles which was the story of a man who migrated to the US from Hungary. That particular book is the genealogy of a fellow Book Crosser, and in someway echoed parts of my own ancestry.
These three coincidences have given me much food for thought!