Today one of my coworkers at my new job told me that he was a horrible person. I joked with him, acting like I was surprised. But it turns out he nearly committed one of the most horrible sins imaginable.
He said that he'd run into money problems, so he decided to sell some of his most valued books. *gasp!* Yes, that is a horrible idea. He had a book--signed, no less--that was valued at about one grand, so that's what he tried to eBay it for. Thankfully his financial situation improved, and he no longer had to sell this prized possession. Instead he turned to trolling those who tried to undercut him. One person audaciously tried to get it for $200. He mocked them all and kept his book.
I've spent my life amassing the library I'm surrounded by in this very moment. I have three bookcases in my bedroom, all full to the brim with books on top that reach to the ceiling. I also have three piles of books on the top shelf of my desk . . . and they reach to the ceiling. To say nothing of the two and a half giant towers of books on their own (one and a half being a stack comprised of two stacks topped by one stack because it kept falling over). To say nothing of the paperbacks stacked on my comic book boxes and the one shelf mounted on my wall.
Go outside my room and you'll find another full-to-the-brim bookcase with books on top . . . reaching to the ceiling. And three stacks next to it . . . reaching to the ceiling.
I cannot possibly imagine myself selling any one of them. I have a lot of signed books. I have a lot of limited editions. (The most I ever spent on a book was $500 for a signed limited edition of Richard Laymon's A WRITER'S TALE; worth every penny, and anyone will tell you that's a pretty good deal.) And I have a ton of regular hardcovers and paperbacks. I had to sell some books recently to make room, but I sold only the ones I hadn't enjoyed. Everything that I loved (or have not read yet) is integral to my continuing existence.
Even the ones I sold kind of hurt. I'd put those books in my head. They were a part of me even though I didn't like them (or I had other, better editions that I did enjoy).
This guy was going to sell a prized possession. I find that unthinkable. I could never part with any of the books I have in my place.
I hear horror stories about people having to move and leave their books behind during a move. Or sell them in order to move. Or there's the one story about Joe R. Lansdale losing his library to a flood. Jesus! That's so horrible! Just hearing it drills a hole in my guts.
Which reminds me, I have a ton of books that are signed by the authors that I HAVEN'T read. I need to get on that as soon as possible.
Goodnight, my fellow book fiends.