Wednesday 25 August 2010

I'm turning into my professor

I'm turning into my professor - the famous professor H. I once helped the man move... I didn't actually carry anything. My whole job was to sort the books by "period" and "theme" (or sub-theme of history, such as religion, warfare, mentality, nobility). It took me a whole day, long into the night. While I did that, I noticed that he owned one book (Montaillou - a book on an inquisitorial investigation in southern France during the late Middle Ages) FIVE times. Three hardcovers and a couple paperbacks.

I pointed at them, as they sat there, lined up on the shelf and asked him "why?"

He said that one had been a gift, one was owned by his wife, he bought the other one since he'd forgotten he owned the book, and the fourth was bought when he couldn't find it.

Yesterday, I bought a book because I couldn't find an absolutely crucial bit of information on German horsebreeding in WWII. Very soon, I'll enter the stage where I forgot I owned stuff (when I moved house, I already found two duplicate books - one pair on creative writing, the other pair on the history of Islam - so we're not far off).

I do wonder if ebooks are the solution to that. After all, it should be easier to organize them. Especially when the vendor keeps a copy on the shelf.

But now I'm eagerly awaiting the delivery of my horse book. And once it shows up at my door - I'll just pretend all this didn't happen and either give the second copy away as a gift (my professor gave me one of his five copies after a thoughtful moment and a "guess I really don't need FIVE."), donate them or sell them on.

Old age will be fun.


  1. lol, I love books so much, I have duplicate copies of some. With some I even do that on purpose. A paperback that I just have to have a hardback of because I just drool over hardbacks, so some such thing like that. I've done the forgot I had that one too. lol, but I keep them both. I think I have some kind of sickness that prevents me from actually parting with my books... no matter how hard I try.

    And a new book that shows up at the door... I always find exciting. Always. :)

  2. I'm sure all book-lovers have the same affliction, Aleks. Rick and I are used to ending up with duplicates - he, because he bought a book without knowing I'd bought one already and I because one copy I scribble stuff on, use till it gets worn and need its clean, new back-up. The others are, like you and the Prof, I forgot I already bought it.