Library Hazards

Began work on organizing my collection of fiction today, and am very irritated.

One of the cats — I know which one — has taken it upon himself to urinate on the bottom shelves, thus limiting storage capacity, increasing the tipping hazard, and reducing the likelihood he’ll die a natural death. This is a tremendous annoyance, but is not, entirely, what has irritated me. I am missing books.

Except for one, which was relatively recently published, the missing books have been in my collection since before I left for college, thirty years ago. I did not give them away. I did not discard them. They aren’t out on loan. Maybe they’ll turn up elsewhere in the boxes, but I doubt it.

Many of my oldest friends are on these shelves. I like to sit and simply look at them. The volumes serve as an aid to memory. I remember reading those I have kept, often in a specific place and time. For many, I have memories of their purchase. I’ve kept them for these memories, and because one day I would have children who might want to read them.

Now I have a sample case. Maybe they’ll read one and want to get others from the public library.