When TheEx and I split in the spring of 2008, I moved in with the family for a few months until I could save up a bit more cash before I moved to Detroit to finish my MLIS. This arrangement meant all my worldly goods were stored in their basement instead of having to hire a storage locker in the city, with the idea that I would be saving money in the long run for the move.
The winter of 2008-09 was particularly bad. When packing up my things to move to Detroit in January 2009, we discovered that out of close to 50 odd boxes of books (and some household items) that were stored in the basement, roughly 15-20 boxes were destroyed by water damage and flooding from all the goddamned snow. You see, one thing neither my ‘rents nor I figured into this storage plan was while their basement was not a Michigan basement, it suffered from severe leak problems which they never knew about since the winters were not as ferocious the first few years they owned the home.
With that being said, neither their insurance nor mine would cover the loss as the flooding of the basement was not due to burst water mains, hot water heater, or an act of god. The flooding was due to poor sealing of the basement foundation coupled with the house built at the end of a low hill. I.e.: Sorry, but you’re out of fucking luck.
I lost thousands of dollars in books and irreplaceable paper items such as letters, photos and journals.
It makes people cringe when I talk about the loss and my own heart aches when I think about it. Thankfully, with the help of my mother, I was able to catalog the damaged books and paper goods and have a decent idea of what books I’m now missing. Many, if not most, I will not replace as they are either out of print, given and inscribed as gifts or I no longer have any interest in the subject matter.
The exception to this rule is that I lost a good chunk of my Terry Pratchett collection, which I started collecting in the late ’90s and early ’00s. I was introduced to Pratchett by numerous people and became a huge fan (though to be fair, I started in the middle of the series at the time and didn’t care for it, so it took a bit more convincing to get me to start the continue on reading). Like the pedantic that I am, I eventually started at the beginning of the series, The Color of Magic, and pushed on. At some point, I caught up with the series and switched from buying paperbacks to hardcover (hc) books. Pratchett is one of the few authors that as soon as a book is announced for pre-order, I’m on that like white on rice.
A number of friends of mine who live across the pond, upon hearing about my Pratchett loss, asked me to compile a list of the destroyed books to help with replacement. While I did start purchasing Pratchett’s books in hardcover instead of paperback sometime in the mid-00s (when I caught up with the series), I’m not picky in which form I find the book (though I would prefer getting the British cover over the American one). Ultimately, I just want to get my collection close to completion again.
I compiled a list of Discworld books I DO have over at LibraryThing, which also includes materials about Pratchett and not necessairly by him. If anyone is able to help me out, that would be fantastic. I know a lot of Pratchett fans tend to have multiple copies of his work (differing covers, editions, etc) and if anyone has any extras they would like to donate to complete my Pratchett library collection again, that would be fantastic. Comment here or email me if we can work something out.
The Color of Magic
The Light Fantastic
The Fifth Elephant
The Last Hero
The Wee Free Men
Hat Full of Sky (hc)
(Books I’ve been unable to obtain in the .us or were unable to find easily)
Only You Can Save Mankind
Johnny and the Dead
Johnny and the Bomb
The Bromeliad Trilogy: TRUCKERS
The Bromeliad Trilogy: DIGGERS
The Bromeliad Trilogy: WINGS
Where’s My Cow?
The Discworld Graphic Novel