I have a rather large collection of books in my possession that has, until now, gone relatively unorganized and unsorted.
Years of moving around before you get a chance to unpack tend to do that to you.
So when my house flooded, and my plans for general organization were thwarted I turned my eyes to my collection of paper tales with the idea of thinning it out and giving some away to the local book drive.
While I have succeeded I have been undergoing a strange sensation while scanning the covers. It's like watching my evolution as a person. From books I loved and read as a child to the recent purchases.
I have a 1948 copy of Dantes Inferno (interesting story behind that), a special edition of The Hobbit from the 70's that my brothers had, my Grandparent's Bible, my dad's Rock books and a book of Poetry from my grade school days that I can still recite.
I have references for writing, acting, cartooning, 9 Alice in Wonderland books (including a few antiques), and 7 Grimms. A copy of the Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker that my brother gave me 10 years ago... before I really knew how much I would fall in love with his work.
There is a definite turn for the dark in my reading over the years, starting with an old copy of the original Scary Stories to tell in the Dark and ending with the most recent Hellraiser comic collection.
Going through your library is a draining and rewarding experience... like picking through your brain. Or looking at the rings on a stump left behind by a felled tree. I see my formation into the person I am today there. I see damage from various floods, fading from the son, discoloration in books nearly 100 years old... It's all here in print.
I would hate for physical copies of books to phase out. It would be such a blow to our culture.