My husband has spent today reorganizing our book shelves. This hasn't been done in far too long, and the four shelves that we use for books have been straining to hold them all up. This, of course, doesn't include my TBR and recently read shelves, or the small shelf that I keep with a few devotionals. It also doesn't include my husband's shelf of books on writing well. Or the books in my dresser or on the nightstand. We are probably going to find the need to purchase a fifth six foot high book shelf to house what is left over, and that will only work for as long as we cease to purchase more books.
The problem with this process is the discovery of damaged books. Books that our little one has gotten her hands on, or worse, the books that our cats have gotten into.
I remember years ago when a dog chewed up the book I was reading. I remember it so well that I can tell you that it was an old copy of James Herbert's The Fog. I cried. I wanted to find another home for that dog, immediately. Books are a BIG DEAL in my life, and damage to them makes me suffer in a very basic and very humiliating way.
These five books were damaged some time before our cats were neutered last year. I'm ashamed to say that it's been that long since I've gotten them out, but they are the consequence of unneutered male cats marking their territory. They are the collateral damage.
Fortunately four out of the five were copies of romance novels I had purchased second hand and had already read more than once (yes! I don't do this often, but in this case these books have been read to death). They weren't on their way out, but I probably wasn't going to read them again. They would, however, have been great books for a swap.
I'm furious, of course. Any time that I have to do something with books other than sell them or swap them hurts my heart and I really feel as though a little piece of my soul dies. I know that things happen -- damage happens. My husband is a collector of vintage books and he lost many in hurricane Fran. I didn't even know him at the time and the very thought makes me weep.
My heart hurts in many ways I will probably buy more copies, and read again. I will probably do the author the benefit of purchasing them brand new, if I can convince my husband that it is necessary for me to do so.