Sep 30, 2013

the dim and far away future

Have you ever wondered what will happen to your personal book collection when you die?

Not that I expect this to occur any time soon, but sometimes I think about it. I picture myself decades from now, an old lady in a little house or nursing home all alone yet not too lonely as I am content to be surrounded by my books and have ample time to reread them all!

And then I wonder where they will go after me... I would of course leave them to my daughter, who's becoming an avid bookworm in her own right, but she's not really interested in the animal books so she might not really want them all. I wonder if a library might take the collection but I know the actual fate of most books donated to libraries: they end up in the annual library sale and if not purchased, get recycled. Very rarely do they get into circulation for library patrons. (All you librarians out there correct me if I'm wrong!)

Sometimes I fantasize a dreadful future where the wildlife has all gone extinct, but my odd collection of animal reference books will be valued for its subject matter. But of course, any public library has a more extensive collection than mine about the same, so why would my books be special? ha ha

I just hope wherever they do go someday, they would continue to be appreciated!


bermudaonion said...

I think about that with my books and other things, like Christmas ornaments and dishes. I have a feeling some of the things I treasure will end up being sold at an estate sale for a quarter.

Alex said...

T o my solicitor's credit he didn't so much as raise an eyebrow when I insisted on provision for all my Teddy Bears being written into my will. You might think about doing the same.

Susan said...

I often wonder too, what will happen with my books. Do you remember reading in stories when we were younger, how some relative would die and leave their library to one of the characters, and everyone was either delighted or jealous? I wish we lived in times like those again, at least where my books are concerned! lol I'd love to leave them to either someone who would read them all, or donate them to a special library or senior nursing home, or something along those lines.

Jeane said...

Bermudaonion- Yes, probably the same here. If at least a fraction of it ends up treasured by my children or grandchildren, I will be content.

Alex- I will probably eventually wirte provisions for my book collection into a will, but I just have a hard time thinking who will want the books! The specific subjects I enjoy and collect with a passion don't appeal to many other readers particularly, even my own kids.

Susan- I don't know if I ever read any books featuring an incident like that! I would have sympathized with the delighted characters, probably! I'm sure I'll find out who to donate them to, and hopefully pass at least half on to my children.

Jenny @ Reading the End said...

Whenever I think about my books after I die, I imagine my surviving relatives peering through them and being sad at how impersonal they are because I never wrote in them. It makes me sad but not sad enough to write in them. :p

Jeane said...

Jenny- to me that seems a strange thought. I've never written in my books- used to underline favorite passages but not even that anymore. It seems- a desecration somehow.

Trish said...

I hadn't thought about it but now I am!! I don't know anyone personally who loves to read quite as much as I do or who would want my hundreds of books. When my great aunt died she had thousands! I remember going through her catalog of books and marking off the ones that I wanted and my mom was able to get a few for me. Many were donated, many were sold and a few went to family members. If I went before my husband, I'm sure he would just get rid of them all!