From the moment I earned my own money I have collected books. Mostly old ones because I like how they are made. I fancy myself a liberator of used books, saving them from the perils of a discarded shelf life.
I once saw a beautiful large bible way up on a shelf in a smelly store in Portland, Maine. I left without pursuing it further. Back home, I couldn’t stop thinking about that bible.
Without worth of a lie, I was this close to hopping a plane to Maine when a coworker with family in Portland offered to get the rejected book for me next time he visited. About 5 weeks later, I gave him $200 and he bought the bible.
Thanks to Pickles acting as my courier, I own this incredible gem:
Turns out it was part of an estate auction. Inside its cover is the name of the family in Maine who owned that bible. One day I intend to give it back.
An avid reader from early on and an English Lit major by degree, books have been it for me.
I find the written word romantic, dashing, and absorbing – pair that with fine bindings, interesting published dates and first editions … heaven I say.
Not every saved book has to be ornate, but it’s pretty wonderful to come across a good story stored in a unique structure, and mine to rescue.
At 15 I began designing my library. A wall to wall covered space filled with my books, staircases and wooden ladders that swung around the room.
I suspect My Fair Lady plays somewhere in this blueprint.
Oh, and an electric train with tracks hanging just below the ceiling. I love trains … toy and real. A library with a train? I know, right?
My collection hovered around 400 when I sincerely sketched out a room of my own to house the books I saved. A wildly charming spot dedicated to my dusty pastime pleasure. And it made me feel sublimely free to think of myself spending hours there, happy to read and just as happy to recall the origins of how a book came to be in my library.
Then the fantasy stumbled when JB and I collapsed.
On Wednesday, JB brought over 13 boxes of my books from what once was our apartment.
I wrote about this a few days ago, I was humbled by the care he took to delivery them back to me. Packing is horrible. Packing the stuff of the girl who broke your heart … well that’s on a whole other level of suck.
Emptying his car. Filling up my living room. Standing surrounded by what once was my passion. Feeling the resounding vibration of our sadness wave up from cardboard boxes.
It took my breath away. I have thought of little else since.
I accept that I will endure Karma in whatever form and at any moment it chooses to punish. And for JB I shall do so with a ‘thank you sir may I have another’ stance.
Each time Karma calls, I must learn something new about cause and effect.
Take Wednesday for instance. Until four days ago, I did not know that the saved possessions which gave me so much joy could come back and smother me with my past self.
That? That I did not know.