My grandmother was a First Grade teacher until they forcibly retired her. She taught at All Saint's Episcopal Day School starting in the 1950s and ending but a few years ago. She is an inveterate reader and is at least partially responsible for my addiction. I lived with her for a year (second grade) and went to All Saint's, where I learned the Angelus from the Anglican nuns who taught religion. Anyhow. I digress. Gram is a book nut, and that hasn't changed despite her age (91 in June). My dad sent her out from California to Kentucky to visit my sister for a few weeks while her house in being remodeled. Gram quickly read her way through Cat's library, so Cat asked me to bring a few books for Gram. Well, I am always glad to try to find new homes for my orphaned books, so I packed up a shopping bag full of paperback novels (mysteries mostly - Gram loves Dick Frances and other mystery writers - and she is the one who got me hooked on science fiction). My dear eldest daughter had asked us to bring her some groceries (specialty items) and I also packed along a couple of loaves of zucchini bread. I figured that coming back I could probably put an empty suitcase inside of the bigger one and have one less bag to drag through the airport.
What I had not counted on is that my daughter (the one in Memphis) has a second job - working in a used book store.
I think I brought home more books than I took with me.
When we went to visit her at the bookstore, some lovely person had just dropped off a couple of boxes of Catholic books. There were several that the bookstore did not think they could sell, and so they were offered to us as freebies. Then there were several more that were the usual reasonably priced used....and now there is another pile to be read, sorted, and shelved........
My daughter's day job is as a radio producer. In her last place of employment, she acquired multiple books from agents (aka book-pimps) hoping that she would consider booking the authors on the radio show. So for the last few years, Christmas has also been books galore.
There was a meme going around the blogosphere a while back - how many books does one own? TS posted
Someone with more books than Steven Riddle, who guestimates 20,000. Scott Hahn has about 50,000. Sorry Steven.
Update: From the email bag: "My hubby says that to the intellectual the size of one's personal library is akin to the size of one's personal anatomy for Nascar aficionados."
I just realized that I have no clue how many books live in my house and garage. There seems to be a physical mandate that any book that leaves must be replaced by 2 others. Tribbles, anyone?