Wednesday, June 7, 2023

No hard choices here... by Cathy Ace

Reading: The building’s on fire, what books do you save?

NOTE: I shall assume every life is saved, and there’s no danger involved with rescuing “things”, because I’m sure we all agree that things don’t matter at all if anyone’s health or wellbeing is in jeopardy.

First of all: 

NOT BOOKS – sorry! – but all the albums containing photos I haven’t yet saved digitally. Yes – not words at all, but images that are irreplaceable. Why? I recently spent weeks sorting through ALL my family’s 70+ photo albums, and have digitally saved hundreds of photos for myself, recording the history of my family, and my life. Thus, the power of such records is front and centre of my mind. (A couple of examples of photos I saved appear below.)

My great-great-great aunt who was Postmistress in Hay-on-Wye
(yes, the family connections to the places I set my WISE Enquiries
Agency Mysteries go back that far)

Books signed by authors who are no longer living.

My laptop and separate hard drive, because I also have a lot of books stored there, including all the working documents of all my own books!

My Kindle (so a couple of thousand books right there!)

I drag my arm along a shelf of books and hope they all land in a suitcase…not because I can’t buy these books again, but because these specific volumes have been with me for DECADES, and have my soul imprinted on their pages alongside the words of the authors.

The early-nineties, with my maternal grandmother

After that? There are books the (still living) author has signed, or has even signed specifically for me: I’d like to say these were higher on my list of priorities, but if I lost them, I could make it my mission to repurchase the books and get new signatures – so that’s almost a win.

For me? Books are replaceable, the memories associated with specific volumes aren’t.

So there we have it - people, photos, special books, digital books, irreplaceable books, books. 

Want to find out how I use my family's history as an inspiration? Well, that's woven throughout my work, so you could start anywhere - but on the 24th July, the 8th WISE Enquiries Agency Mystery will be published...just saying!

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