Friday, December 6, 2013

A second home library

Now, renting another apartment to store books -- that makes sense.
Tom Raabe, Biblioholism: The Literary Addiction

What doesn't make sense to Tom Raabe is moving into a bigger house because that would mean packing up and moving all those thousands of books any true biblioholic (Raabe's word) owns. Who would want to go to all that trouble? Better, he argues, to spend the money you would spend on a bigger place to acquire a second place.

As we pack up to return to Florida for another winter (a couple weeks too late, it turns out, to escape winter weather), it occurs to me that what Raabe describes is, in effect, exactly what I have been doing. After three winters in Florida and two in our Largo condo, which is rented and not owned, I already have the start of an impressive library down there. I plan to haul a few more books down with me next week.

The condo is small, and there is not much space for books. Besides it is owned by someone else, and I am not exactly free to build shelves or even add bookcases. And we have use of the condo only temporarily, until the owners decide to retire there themselves, so those Florida books are going to have to be moved eventually. Still they do tend to multiply each winter.

As I get ready to drive south, I find myself thinking not of sandy beaches but of all the books I have waiting for me down there and all the bookstores I haven't visited in several months. I'm sure Tom Raabe understands, even if my wife doesn't.

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