Life Events: Encyclopedia

I have a problem.

I have an old encyclopedia set. Like, 1895 old. I have a special love for it as a primary resource of the late 1800s. I mean, in 2020 I went and read the article in about vaccines with smallpox being the only vaccine it discusses because, well, it was the only vaccine available in 1895. I mean, Russia was still ruled by Alexander III (not really, he died in late 1894 but I bet they didn’t have information or time to update before printing the 20+ volume encyclopedias).

I don’t have space for it. I have them in boxes to get rid of the set.

I can’t throw it away. I can’t send it to a landfill.

I can’t bring myself to use it for “arts and crafts” either. The idea of turning it into something other than a primary resource hurts my soul.

I have called the libraries around me. I have called used book stores. I have called museums offering to donate it. I called my college’s library as an alum to ask if they would want it (they gave me a “maybe”). No one wants it. It breaks my heart. I mean, I literally am tearing up thinking of this beautiful set being destroyed even as I write this.

Just for fun in recent weeks I looked up “Ukraine” in 1895. This is the whole entry:

UKRAINE (“frontier”), the formerly given to a district of European Russia, now comprising the governments of the Kharkoff, Kieff, Podolia, and Poltava (q.v.).
Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. XXIII (1895) p. 719

The next column starts with ULCER.

I can’t. I just can’t. This is…. this is history. Sitting in my library in boxes and I look at it maybe once a year out of weird curiosity only. I don’t need it and it just collects dust. Marie Kondo however would roll her eyes at me because it DOES give me joy. This is why Kondo-ing doesn’t work for me and books. There are very few books that don’t give me joy. I have only burned one book and even that was a challenge for me (but it deserved it).

Writer, nerd, and perpetual student. I am obsessed with books - both the reading and the making of them. If I won the lottery I would try to have the best private(ish) library in the world. It wouldn't be totally private because the whole purpose of having books is helping other people find a book they will love. I have 2 cats, Genkii (energy) and Kawaii (cutie). I will mention them regularly because they are a daily delight in my life. Granted, sometimes when I'm playing video games they are not so much "delight" as they are "distraction"... but I love them regardless.