Jeff Abbott on Losing His Library To A House Fire – “…I lost over 2,500 books in the fire. Lost to water, lost to fire (for weeks afterward, until the house was torn down, we would find partially burned pages of books that had fallen down from the attic or second story, like a kind of printed ash), lost to damage as smoke filled my office for hours and grit and stench settled into the pages.
I know that having a personal library of that size is a privilege. Many writers and readers don’t have that many books (and I have always been amazed when I meet writers and readers who have far more). We lost clothes, shoes, furniture (including items that had been in our families for generations), photos, art, toys, electronics, and far less replaceable items than books. But a library built from one’s childhood is a very singular collection. The library was a map of my life as a reader, and later a writer, from my first books to books I’d recently bought but not read yet. I realized, once it was gone, that my book collection was an annex to my imagination…”