Entry #2000? Are you wondering where the other 1,999 posts are? I hope so, because I was trying to be clever and confusing. If I failed, well, I hope you keep reading at least. I’ll try redeeming myself.
It’s common knowledge here on A Life Among the Pages that I have a LARGE collection of books. I mainly pay attention to my large print book collection, though my ebook collection is VASTLY larger, but it’s not as close to my heart (sorry authors I only have ebooks from. I still love you all).
I’ve been buying books for years. I’d say my real collecting started around 10th grade when I first discovered my local used bookstore (Catnap Books) when my mom started doing some work for them. I used to hang out there after my summer school class was done for the day. (What? Summer school? But you’re all smart and stuff…well, here’s another shock: It was because I failed English, 9th and 10th grade. Variety of reasons, but I actually enjoyed the summer classes better since we actually learned…crazy.) I don’t remember which book was my FIRST that I bought there, but I remember the first three: The complete tales and poems of Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls (I saw the title and was like “wait, that’s a Metallica song. I need to see what probably inspired the song. Hemingway turned into one of my favorite authors), and Homer’s The Odyssey (a prose translation, but at the time I didn’t realize it was written in verse normally. It’s a 1930’s hardcover and that held some appeal as well.)
Things escalated from there, but the book buying madness really happened once I went to college. I was always in town only about a mile from the bookstore. I had a job. When you put that money and hours between class/work together it apparently equals: LET’S GO TO THE BOOKSTORE. I’d even drag people with me. Once I went to my second college my buying slowed a lot, but not fully. I didn’t have a job up there, but still has some pocket money at times and a used store above the hardware store in town. There was another one about 5 miles away I went to a few times on the bike and the library had Saturday morning sales. It was a great town for books!
Rambling much? Yea, happens a lot when I talk about books. I’ll fast-forward a bit now. Through the years, my collection grew and grew…and grew. I’ve only recently met fellow book lovers (mainly through the Internet) with collections equal or even larger (wasn’t sure that existed) than my own. It makes me feel like less of a weirdo to have so many books held in one room and to want it to keep growing. Once I hit 1,000 books, I thought that was a large amount. Turns out it’s almost nothing now. I’ve only recently having to be even more creative with storing them and room is running out. If you look back at my “How I Store All of my Books…Revisited” post from a few months back, you’ll see how I make them all fit.
Last weekend my girlfriend was up visiting and of course we went to the bookstore. I needed to buy 9 books to get to the 2,000 mark. I only got four. That meant that I needed to still get 5 more for the milestone and that #2,000 needed to be a special one. Well, yesterday I went around to some garage sales (since that’s what any good book lover will do on a weekend). I came home with #2,000 and MORE.
Still with me? I’m basically done now. I said what I wanted to say and I’m patting myself on the back for a job well done of getting to the big 2,000 mark. I’d just like to leave you with my purchases from yesterday and to share that 2,000th book.
(became #2000 as I entered it into my database…might not have been the “actual” #2000 bought over the course of the day.)
I’ve been looking for this book after hearing about it on a podcast earlier in the year. I’m always up for a book about someone else reading and collecting books. I think it’s very fitting for this one to be a milestone book for me due to its subject matter.
“Early one autumn afternoon in pursuit of an elusive book on her shelves, Susan Hill encountered dozens of others that she had never read, or forgotten she owned, or wanted to read for a second time. The discovery inspired her to embark on a year-long voyage through her books, forsaking new purchases in order to get to know her own collection again.
A book which is left on a shelf for a decade is a dead thing, but it is also a chrysalis, packed with the potential to burst into new life. Wandering through her house that day, Hill’s eyes were opened to how much of that life was stored in her home, neglected for years. Howard’s End is on the Landing charts the journey of one of the nation’s most accomplished authors as she revisits the conversations, libraries and bookshelves of the past that have informed a lifetime of reading and writing.”
See, definitely the PERFECT book for a milestone. It’s about another booklover…and well-known author…who has a collection of neglected books, like mine. While I love each and every one of my books, I can’t read them all and don’t fool myself into thinking it’ll ever happen. But going through the stacks to reorganize or just to find a specific books brings back memories of when and where the book came from, the day surrounding that purchase, and a number of other things that come with books. The stories inside them will be fascinating, but the stories around the book as an object is also worth remembering and revisiting. That’s part of what my Aged Pages series is about, though I haven’t written it in a long time. I’d like to start up again and maybe get some readers to submit some of their own stories. (Hit me up here if you want to do that.)
So that’s it. A LONG post, but I hope it was enjoyable to read. I hope you’re all still around for #3000…and the reinforcement of my house to hold the weight 😉
Go, grab a book and savor it. Go read. Enjoy the day!