The books wait on the shelves. They came to the shelves, some on impulse, some on purpose, all because they called to me, looking interesting.
Some I bought after a great ebook experience, to preserve the memory to sample again someday. Some are collections of memories (the comic-book compilations and other anthologies). Like the records and the CDs and the DVDs and the iTunes app, they wait for an opportunity to be heard again … to be found again.
My little (by comparison) library has another purpose: to protect and preserve the past for our future. Each copy of each book is an opportunity for its creator and creation to be found again, to call out to another individual someday. I would say I’m an archivist, but that word suggests some organization to the collection.
Or maybe all archives and museums are a bit disorganized, except for their public displays, with back rooms of boxes and shelves full of the past stored willy-nilly and waiting to be found again.