Today, I moved the last of the books. Never thought I would ever say that.
Kris and I are going from three buildings to one very large building, which means that everything in the other two buildings needed to be moved into the one building, which meant that everything in the big building needed to be shifted to fit better. After 13 years in the three buildings, we just got tired of the vastness of the place, I got tired of the upkeep, and we both got very, very tired of being anchored to this compound.
So, now, after a few more hours of work this weekend, we are down to one large house as most normal humans and the other two buildings will be going away on Monday. And I can’t begin to tell you have relieved I am. And how much I am enjoying my new office, which looks out over the Pacific Ocean just as my last office did, only this one is actually much more comfortable. As I write this, the huge waves from yesterday’s storm are crashing on the beach and a cool breeze is blowing in through the slightly open window. Doesn’t come much better.
Kris asked how many books we had and I didn’t want to even think about it until they were all moved, since I moved them all, either from the other two buildings, or shifting them inside this house. Now, as I take new pictures for the insurance, I have a basic answer. In this house we have just over 100,000 comic books and right at 100,000 books. The comic books take up a lot less room, but they still fill, in boxes, most of two bedrooms.
The books cover every wall in this twelve bedroom home. Every wall.
Our nonfiction library, which consists of around 8,000 hardback reference books, fills two bedrooms with library shelves. The thousands of digests (full runs of many major digests, like Astounding/Analog, F&SF, Amazing, IF, Hitchcocks, Queen, and so on) fill the four walls of one huge bedroom. One large room with library shelves coming out into the room from all four walls is used just for Kris’s extra copies of her books. My extra copies are in a storage unit. The mystery collection fills a huge room, the paperbacks fill hallways and parts of another room, and so on and so on. It is a twelve bedroom house after all.
At 100,000 copies, it’s more books than many small town libraries. Ah, the life of two writers who can’t seem to pass up a book.
So finally, after working on this since February, this is almost over. Today, I replanted nine trees to make a natural barrier between the big building and the other two. (A 59 year old man should not be replanting six-foot pine trees. At least my back is telling me that now.) I have about four more hours tomorrow of last minute clean-up to get the two buildings finally cleaned out.
I can’t begin to tell you all how happy I will be getting back to just writing and running. And reading. Picking up one book at a time.