My back is killing me. We are in the process of moving and I have been packing books all day. Fortunately, a very strong young man is really doing most of the work and I have just been sorting and handing him the books that he rapidly packs into boxes. The boxes now fill a large room and I have given several boxes to the Salvation Army.
It’s hard to believe I have read a lot of those book and my wife has also read a big share. I wish I had retained a fraction of the contents. Just about every genre is represented. There are biographies, history, and every type of fiction including; science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, and historical novels. I have a wide variety of chidren’s books, cook books and books on gardening. There are how-to books on just about every subject from plumbing to auto repair. I have many books on religion and a large collection of Bibles. I am most proud that I have the complete works of Mark Twain by several publishers and large collections on the Civil War and the History of Medicine. In addition I have many medical books and textbooks from college and medical school.
All these books are like old friends. I reminisce as I carefully handle each one. They are old friends I have known for well over half a century. They have informed me, but more importantly they have entertained me. They have helped me take flight into other worlds and some places that exist only in the imagination or a dream. Through these books I have solved mysteries with Sherlock Holmes fought battles with Robert E. Lee and sailed around the world with Tristan Jones. Over and over again, I have laughed at the humor of Mark Twain and savored his satire and view of the world. I have explored the imaginary worlds created by Robert E. Howard and J.R.R. Tolkien. I have done all these things without leaving the house. Many of these books accompanied me as I passed through the valley of death recovering from cancer surgery. Yes, indeed they have been my good friends.
As I packed the books I occasionally thought about how much they had cost. I could have retired a few years earlier if my money had not been spent on the habit of reading, but yet I may have earned much less if I had not acquired some of the knowledge contained within the pages of my library. Anyway the inventory of my books as we pack them is worth the pain in my back.