The Ultimate Literary Sin!
Whilst it was great that yesterday, we didn’t have to box up the 2100 books in my Father’s estate, we only ended up boxing an actual 300 – 400 books. Suze and l travelled up to Surrey with 18 boxes. We knew we wouldn’t have enough for all 2100, as said we used up 18 boxes alone just for the small amount we did do, and on those calculations, we configured we would need to have in the region of 100 boxes to do the job completely and thoroughly, if not slightly more.
My Father’s collection of books was you may recall spread over five main locations in his house, but truth be known it turned out there were books everywhere, literally. In addition to books there were also numerous large collections of magazines from cricket to Jaguar enthusiast magazines, from military to football and rugby magazines, to his pride and joy Huguenot manuals to Tiger Monthly [l didn’t even know there was a tiger monthly magazine!]photography, writing and then just an assortment of titled magazines. It’s fair to say that he haorded magazines as well.
If we were to talk on his CD collection perhaps there may have been 600 of them, predominately Frank Sinatra, then Neil Diamond, then a huge list of artists from A – Z, many were still in their wrappers. According to Jenny he wouldn’t hesitate about going to buy one CD and end up spending close to £100 on CD’s, but then not listen to them, but add them to his collection. So l would have to say that his CD’s all 600 of them, something like 10% were still in shop wrappers, but he’d bought them because there may have been one song new in the collection. Astonishing really, however l didn’t start this post to ramble on about his music, but the sinning found in his hoarding of the 2100 books!
The books we were boxing up were the Wisdens, those almanacks you will have read about in his stories and the actual cricket genre books, which admittedly l thought were only found in two prime locations, but turned out to be found in four out of the five locations. The Wisden’s holding their place in their own location, but all the other cricket books found everywhere else!
We ran out of box space for all of the cricket books, as there were still close to 300 additional titles to be found, mostly reprints, humour and autobiography. We decided that with the boxed content, Jenny would take those down first for valuation next Thursday in Epsom and should the infamous John McKenzie ‘desire’ to see the remaining, then they too would join the initial boxed content, but we don’t think he is going to be overly enamoured by their arrival. He is mostly after the Wisdens and we now want to see if he can beat the original £5800 quote.
I am a bit annoyed with that, as l rang this chap months ago and he was going on holiday, refused to do house visits then agreed to do one, but declared he didn’t drive, and now they are still being taken down to him. I say that as l had to get an indie book valuer in at the cost of £260, l know, l know it’s a reclaim on the estate, but with no monies released just yet, it’s still my dwindling savings taking the hit.
The biggest sin, is actually the rest of the collection, however you look at it, that house still has some 1700 books within four walls, that NO one actually wants. Books on military, the remaining cricket books, animals books, history book and so on. I took a handful out yesterday perhaps twenty in total of books l would love to read, but still we are looking at a huge collection of books that have no home in this progressive digital world of ours that has little time for reading hand held volumes of words.
I used to be a book trader, and even as little as five years ago, the trading out of second hand books was way easier than it is today. People want everything for nothing now. So it matters not what you price books at, the price for second hand is still considered too high. Unless you have vast amounts of space, like a nice airy garage or room available for goodness knows how many boxes, then those books will sadly have to meet their maker or end up in charity stores. The latter are also finding it very difficult to sell hand held books now, and are turning books away!!
I think the disposal of 1700 hand held books is quite possibly the biggest sin of all. I did a bit of shopping around looking for even libraries willing to take the books and they do not wish to know either! If Suze and l had the space, we would bring them back, mm, well in truth l don’t think Suze would, but l would, but realistically we don’t. We are downsizing more of our clutter this year and we don’t need to add another 60 plus boxes to the disorder here.
Sadly l think this is just the shape of our world, but it’s a crying shame that all these millions of words are now going to be technically erased from existence!