I have always been a voracious reader. In the 10 year period from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2009 I spent $12,230.99 for reading materials ($6,610.29 for books, $2,618.89 for magazines and $3,001.81 for newspapers).
I know, you are shaking your head, wondering: “Who knows what they spent for stuff over a ten year period? And who would even care?” Well, the answers are: “I do.” and “I do.” I didn’t reveal all my eccentricities in my ‘About Me’ post last weekend. What can I say? I was an accountant, often referred to as a ‘bean counter’. Numbers are to me what food is to a gourmet. I won’t apologize for it. I use Quicken software to document all my finances. I enter everything – even if I pick up a dime from the sidewalk!
Currently I am reading a novel on my Kindle e-book reader and another hardcover book. The Kindle has two additional books unread and 41 archived books that I have finished. I have 17 more unread books lined up on a shelf to work through. I have to have at least ten unread books in reserve or I get edgy. I have hundreds of books in numerous bookcases scattered around the house, boxes full in the garage and a large closet with shelves so heavily laden with books that should I hear a tremendous crash in the house I will not have to guess the source. Wooden shelves can handle only so much weight. There will come a day when just one more book will do it.
I have a thing about books that I’ve enjoyed. They have become part of me. I would no more consider parting with a treasured book than I would consider chopping off a finger. Over the years I have given away or donated books, but each time I have closely examined each one to determine whether its value to me equaled an appendage. Those remaining are the special ones. The executor of my estate will have the responsibility for their disposition.
A while ago I was looking at some books in a particular bookcase and noted that there were a few of my college textbooks. And I began to wonder just how many of them do I still have – those that have not turned to dust, given that I graduated in 1960! Wow! And I’m still ambulatory! Anyway, I checked all the bookcases and the closet, but not the boxes in the garage. I found 30 of them. I put them all on my coffee table and took the following photo. Back in the day I would note the purchase price on the inside of the front cover. The most expensive book of the 30 cost just $6.75. I remember back then budgeting from $50 to $75 for each semester’s books.