Tuesday, August 2, 2011

on being a scary book lady

"It's like you're a scary cat lady . . . only with books." - a friend
There are a lot of reasons I hate moving, but one of the worst is book damage anxiety.  I pack them with love and care in precise and scientific ways to lower the chance of damage, but the fact is that after carrying 25 boxes up two flights of stairs, people helping me move cannot realistically be expected to treat my book boxes with the gentleness I would like.   I cannot blame them; they are saints to be helping in the first place.

It also rained during a part of the move, and by "rained," I mean "something sometimes akin to a monsoon."  Two boxes were casualties of this water; neither of them contained books.  Go ahead and breathe that sigh of relief with me. 

One bookcase did die, but it has been propped up sufficiently to be able to shuffle along as a zombie until the next move when it will surely perish.  May it rest in peace for the years that elapse before that next move . . .

I unpack the book boxes first because they take up the most space but also because I don't want them to be crammed and cramped for any longer than they have to be.  I unpack with fear and trembling, mourning each bent corner and new scrape, the same sorts of injuries I myself end up getting in the course of a move.  At least books don't bleed as much as I do.

I love touching all my books again.  I'm the kind of person who loves shelving and alphabetizing books, getting (re)acquainted, especially this time since I was separated from 75% of them for almost a year due to allergies. 

It's not like I never visited them; the visits were just hurried and infrequent because my mom didn't think I should be at my offsite library storage site alone since I live in the Big City.  The separation anxiety wasn't terrible all the time, but sometimes, I would really wish I could run my fingers over the spines and curl up with a certain something that was temporarily out of my grasp.  On occasion, it was maddening. 

Now we are all together again.  Or we will be when those extra shelves and pegs arrive, and I can unpack the last of the caged nonfiction and poetry . . .

Looking forward to that glorious day,

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