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Six hundred and sixty-six water-logged books on the wall March 5, 2007

Posted by Matsu in Random.

What is that song about 99 bottles? Well, we have 666 wet paperback books that the insurance company just declared a total loss and will be paying us a fee to replace them. The hardbound books have not been reviewed yet, so I don’t know what they are going to do about them. We have almost 100 hardbound books that have water damage. There was also minor damage to another three to four hundred other books, but we are not getting rid of them. They mostly survived serious damage.

I know this sounds strange to many of you reading this, but I don’t want the money, I want the original books back, in their original condition. Some of them hold a lot of sentimental value. When I read a book, I tend to mark it up and write notes in the margins. But, even if I didn’t do that, I feel some sort of attachment with the books I’ve read. And, believe it or not, I did not get around to reading all 666 paperback books before they got wet in my flooded basement. (See previous post about the flood, here.)

Some of the books were from my childhood. They sparked my imagination and drew me into amazing and wondrous worlds. Just seeing them and holding them takes me back to the feelings I had when I first read them. And, several of the books were from my high school years when I read words that formed into new thoughts and ideas that I didn’t know existed. And, they challenged my thinking and caused me to read even more books. I especially hate to lose those books, as I fear I may also lose the memories attached to them once they are thrown away. I guess time will tell.

I do find a certain irony and humor in the total book count. I don’t know what it means, but it is amusing in an otherwise tragic situation. Yes, I can still laugh. It helps to mask my uneasy sadness.



1. Ruth - March 6, 2007

Hi Matsu,

You certainly have my sympathy, especially since, like you, I lived in a couple of different continents as a child and I understand how much possessions mean when they have been dragged back and forth on airplanes. The books left from my childhood are enormously valuable to me. I think you did a great job of expressing how such loss feels.

And as for the evil number of books, I don’t know what to make of it theologically. Maybe if I knew what some of the titles were, I could come to some eschatological conclusions… 😉

2. Liz - March 19, 2007

Hey Matsu,

I guess its against protocal to use your real name on a blog? “Matsu” does bring back so many good memories though.

I was just going to comment on the ironic total number of books and say with my phobia about that number I would have either hunted to find one more book to throw into the pot or salvaged one of the unsalvagables! What is even more amazing is how many you’ve accumulated over the years – in your free time you should open your own library. Liz

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