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Most of my favorite books are replaceable. All my Harry Potter and Narnia, my Card and Hale and Lewis books, even my Shakespeare—none of the copies have so much physical worth or sentimental value in the paper themselves that I couldn't go out and buy new ones.
Here are a few that couldn't be replaced. They're not particularly valuable as collectibles, but they've been in the family for some time.
...and family history;
the beat-up and incomplete but beloved set of Mark Twain's work,
the little books of poetry,
and I actually am rather attached to my copies of Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and Kristin Lavransdatter, the latter of which Lou gave to me.
What of your books would you save?
I have a story.ReplyDelete
My roommate and I lived in our first apartment after leaving home, with little money and few possessions. One May night around 10:30, we heard some noise outside and the word "fire" and "garage."
At the time I had just answered an awkward call from my ex-fiancee. He had broken my heart the previous October and I was finally getting over it. Without knowing any details, I blurted, "We have a fire!" and hung up.
I dashed to our back door and saw light where there shouldn't be. Our apartment's patio wall was the back of our open carport. Running out, we saw that our carport was on fire, and my car was parked in it.
But hardly anyone seemed to know, so we ran to knock on doors at pertinent apartments to yell "Fire!" We had no idea what would happen, or if the fire was spreading to our apartment so we couldn’t go back in. I was upset because I hadn't grabbed my bible. It had been given me by ex-fiance; the reason I still loved it was that it had a beautiful handcrafted/painted cover by an artist who did early Maranatha! album covers; it was also full of my notes.
It was creepy standing there, watching the fire, seeing my car burn, and it seemed crazy to worry about my bible. Adding to the creepiness was that I knew pyromaniacs like to watch their fires burn, and I suspected that person was in the small crowd.(Our fire was the first in a string of local apartment fires.)
But I was also embarrassed, because I'd bought a tacky dress at Goodwill for an American Graffiti party and had been pinning the hem while wearing it, with my long hair stuck up in a french roll instead of a cool stick and leather ornament. I couldn't have looked dorkier if I'd tried, in the early '70s. To add to this, I was shocked to discover that one of the firemen was a cool football player from high school, who recognized me. I could have sunk through the asphalt.
Finally, I thought, "To heck with it," and, practically hyperventilating, charged into our apartment to quickly change and grab my bible and a couple other things.
My car was totaled, the storage closet above it had my stuff pulled out, with things damaged and broken. Our patio wall (back of the carport), just a few feet from our back door, was completely charred almost a foot down.
But wait, there's more! A guy I barely knew from church lived upstairs one apartment over. He, too, lost his car.
Seven years later we married.
WOW! What a story, Arabella! Yeah, I don't blame you for going back in after your Bible... it's a big deal enough with your notes in it, but then to have it be a work of art, too--that's important.Delete
How funny that you ended up marrying the guy who also lost his car. :D
Thanks for sharing the tale!
Pyromaniacs: Bringing People Together Since the Early 70'sReplyDelete
It's terrible that such things have to happen but good that nobody was physically hurt, although it's not necessarily a victimless crime. Economically you were hurt and also had the mental anguish of it all. Rejoicing though that some great good came out of it, i.e. your marriage.
As to the question on the blog, I'm not sure I'd have time to rescue any books after trying to get 16 cats out of the house. All my books are pretty much replaceable. I might grab my Kindles & my external hard drive where I have a lot of backup eBooks. But I'd probably be more inclined to save some of my old role-playing games & board games.