Matthew 6: 19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
I am self-confessed bibliomaniac or bookworm. When I was young -grade school to high school age- I always frequent my friend’s house (Junjun Sarreal) so I can read their Encyclopedia Britannica where Junjun was famous for quoting their content and their copies of Time and Newsweek magazines- and borrow some of them home-where I spend time pouring on stories of Nixon, Carter and Reagan during the summer days. I also borrow the bible story book, world history and Old Baltimore catechism from the house of Ongsu’s at Instruccion Street, Sampaloc, Manila-where books on English literature and the biography of John F. Kennedy can be found. They were my treasured –borrowed possession.
And so –now that I have my own financial resources –and the glut of trade books and imported second-hand books here in the Philippines- plus the ease of buying online form Amazon and other Christian publishing houses- I now have three steel bookshelves and 4 plastic case of books-these without including the pdf, epubs, lits, djvu and cbzs I have downloaded online in my 500 GB portable hard disk.
This Christmas holiday – I went through my hardcopy collection and found out-to my dismay that my wood bookshelf is infested with termites –and it started gnawing at the top shelf-not below where I am anticipating if ever there is a termite in the area. And I thought our house is concrete-and impervious to them. But termites has a nasty way of entering to the grooves and cleavages of the floor panels and then going through the lower levels of the bookshelf and then destroying the books. Fortunately – it was the Star Wars books and some old management books that I already read or really leave out that it started to destroy.
So it took me three weeks to unload the books, throw out the bookshelf and other items I really don’t need at all or anymore, locate and install the new two steel shelves and reload the books. And I still need to rearrange it again based on my reading habits and needs. I also took all of the magazines that I have pdf copies and gave it to one of my disciple-friend- Elder Romy dela Cruz so that he can use it as background reading in theology and general matters. I previously gave away 2 years worth of the Banner magazine of CRCNA to CRC San Pedro, Laguna for their use.
During one of my rearranging time and resorting time –based on the 5S principle of –seiri, seiton, seiso,seiketsu, and shitsuke – I have to throw away items that I did not even use once in 5 years-but it seems impractical to do so since most books are hard to look for and come by-so it still remain with me-even though I have read it before. I might not read “Lord of the Rings” trilogy anymore since the movie-but it reminds me of my college years when I started reading it through a copy of Junjun Sarreal. I said to myself- I have to leave books that will define my personality, character, interest and legacy-and I hope they-my children –and my disciples in Christ-will at least peek and pore at the pages after. They may have their portable viewers later-but nothing beats the friendship of the printed page-when you feel the roughness or texture of the pages and are able to hold it without the fear of dropping it and destroying it.
But still-other have books and items must go- with termites in its pages-it has to go-so as not to contaminate others- there goes the initials books on the Yuuzhan Vong (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Yuuzhan_Vong) invasion where Chewbacca died to save the Solo’s children-then some old theories in management that I never understand –like matrix organization (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matrix_management), and there are the small electronic parts that I thought that I will be using later for some projects or repairs , and items from previous IIEE conventions and seminars. I hold onto them for remembrance- but I hardly remember anything about them at all-so it must go too. My deep regret is I lost the book of William Safire-“Freedom” to the termites. There I understood how ethically nuance the issues about the American Civil War and that Lincoln is not that bland personality- he is too human-and yet he was a good leader for their time. First time to read there also about General McClellan and Robert Lee. I was not able to finish it-since the noted alone are tremendous and scholarly important with regards to the issues discussed in the book.
And so as we grow old –other things must be left behind-others must be discarded –I just hope that what remains –is taken by the next generation for their own journey-in faith- through time.