Thursday, June 7, 2007

Book bashers


Moving house is always great fun. After half a day of packing and stacking, my room looks messier than before we started. I’m going to stay in my mum’s shoebox of a unit before we head off for our trip.

Housing stack-loads of books is an endless comfort to my bibliomania – but presents hassles when moving. Kindly though, two of my brothers offered to help store and move my stuff. It’s a work in process; we move a bit here and there. Eldest brother came today to move two large bookcases, a dryer and other assorted junk. Some straggling books still remained on the bookcases so we decided to place them on the master bookcase.

I entered the room to find my brother and mum throwing the books onto the shelves. Frantically scrabbling to rescue and rearrange, I screeched: ‘Nooooooooooo, what are you doing to my boooooks?”

My beautiful Collected Short Stories of Saki is now besmirched – the cover’s all bent and manky. My David Copperfield will never be the same. Later, my housemates said the whole world heard me yell. I was distraught.

But a happy ending is only a page away. Early intervention meant the majority of the books are snugly packed and living underneath my mother’s bed. I know some of you are proud-owners of even more books than moi. How do you go about transporting them when you are on the move?

11 comments:

Siew Cooper said...

I would have been distraught too if anyone did that to my books! I've always made it a point to move my books myself; this usually takes several trips (and a bit of over-exertion owing to a pair of spindly arms) toing and froing, and a few days to consider how I will unpack everything, but I have never allowed anyone else to touch my books. Ever.

tanabata said...

Yikes! I would've screeched too! That's why I always pack up my books (all of them!) myself before the movers come. Luckily my book collection only really got out of control after I got married so our recent moves have been job transfers for my husband and his company pays for the movers. So I pack the books but don't have to do any heavy lifting.

RG said...

I wish someone would invent special moving boxes for our books...boxes that would prevent the books' pages from curling in on themselves, from warping the hardback covers, from general wear and tear. Maybe plastic, with individual shelves in there...I don't know. Cardboard just doesn't seem to cut it.

Imani said...

Throwing the books? You should try and instill more reverence for the written word in those outsiders. :P

Arukiyomi said...

what on earth do you mean, how do you move your books? Why, the correct answer for the true book lover is of course, that you don't.

There are two joys associated with deciding not to move books. The first is the joy of giving them away to people who you know will benefit from them and value them.

The second, which is the self-indulgent balance to the aforementioned sacrifice, is the pleasure you get from buying a bookcase in your new abode and then setting out to slowly and methodically fill it to the brim.

Repeat as necessary...

Bybee said...

what's "manky"? Sorry, LA, you know I'm an ignorant Yank!

acquisitionist said...

Siew and Tanabata, it sounds like I should move my own books from now on. Maybe I'll get some muscles from it :-)

Rg, I agree - a few books may not survive the move. Luckily a lot of my books weren't in that good condition anyway - most were picked up secondhand.

arukiyomi, Not many of my friends read and for some of the books there wouldn't be any takers. Excuses aside, I couldn't part with them anyway.

imani - my mum and my brothers just don't get it.

Bybee, I picked it up from friends - it's like say something is feral/not right. Hmmmmm... I need an urban dictionary.

meli said...

Sigh, I'll have to go through all this in a couple of weeks. When I get back to England I'm moving to a new house in Leeds. The books are the least of my worries - I have bookcases and futons to move, and 24 hours within which to accomplish the whole lot... And no brothers in sight. I'm worried that I'll have to give most of my books away if and when I move back to Australia. Posting things to Norway is difficult enough - the boxes arrive crumpled and sometimes damp. :(

jess said...

I can relate to your book moving hassles. I moved in January with a big collection. The new flat was up three flights of stairs, there was no lift and it was 40 degrees- hell!! I'm seriously considering never moving again...

Bookfool said...

I would have freaked out!

I haven't moved in 15 years, but when I have . . . friends with muscles. And, they said they had aching backs and weren't going to lift all those boxes, again. So, I guess I have to stay here. My book collection has expanded in a way that even I could never have imagined - to the point that I really need to start giving masses away or maybe go for a bigger house. Okay, give away masses sounds more doable. Difficult, but it needs to be done.

Melanie said...

Moving is the horrible price to pay for bibliophilia. No other drawbacks that I can think of...

We've moved four times in the past five years; now we are staying put because I am not carrying 200 boxes of books again any time soon. At least my husband is a good book packer; very few of them have ever been damaged. Whew.