Bibliomaniacs try to sort some books May 08 2016
A couple of months ago we were told some alarming news.
The building where we warehouse had been sold and we had two months to vacate.
This is not the relatively orderly warehouse which we work from.
This is not the marginally cleaner and slightly more organised albeit overstocked warehouse we normally work from.
We have chairs there!
All two of them.
Oh no this is a huge space piled high with books which were dumped when there was no space in the first warehouse.
This means kitchen bathrooms and walkways were crowded to capacity.
Even chairs were impossible to access.
The stock ranged from when we had a shop in the Cloisters and the building was renovated.
We had a couple of days to move a shop full of excess stock.
Guess where that landed!
Bulk stock was off loaded there.
When our Bryanston shop burned down the books that were stored in the building were removed and taken….yes to the very same warehouse.
Out of sight out of mind was our motto.
We were too busy trying to make space to put down a chair in our original space.
Meanwhile the books were busy procreating.
I mean they had been locked in there for years.
What were they meant to do ?
And then there is the dust that has coated every box.
There was damp and mould.
These were extreme conditions.
Overalls and masks were acquired.
I think conditions were only marginally worse at the municipal dump during the Pikitup strike.
Suffice to say it was horrible.
We had two months to sort this lot out.
Some friends kindly donated a double garage to us.
I hope they are not regretting this.
Boxes arrived in my guest room .
Others made their way to the other warehouse and meanwhile we sorted and sorted..
I think John Cleese would have managed to make a movie about the antics.
We were sorting for a sale where we will flog the books at a very cheap price.
Books that are to be kept are the rarer tomes that will do well in the shops.
Faced with this daunting task I tended to veer towards the sale pile.
Anyone who knows Doron (or has been to his house...but that is for another day) will know that he finds it difficult if not impossible to let go of any book.
I would make a pile.
He will not very subtley put books back in the piles to be kept.
And the books continued to multiply.
And then the day came that we had to vacate.
Rubble removers were called in to despose of boxes and pallets.
Arbitrary shelves from various locations.
And miscellenaous bits and bobs that somehow emerged from the depths.
And we are out.
My house looks like a tip.
Fumigators may be required.
Or maybe those books may mysteriously land up at our big sale (dates to be announced as soon as we can dislodge a weeping Doron from the piles)
Anything is possible when you work in the book trade and love those books the way we do.
Just some love them more than others.