LETTER: Bibliophile seeks home for books

From reader Dr. John Dale

At the ripe old age of 75 I decided it might be time to do something with my library. I started collecting, reading and studying two particular areas many years ago out of personal interest. One was Arctic and Antarctic history, travel and geography, and the other was philosophy (western).

Over the years I have collected 300-plus books on Polar regions and about 1,500 books on most areas of philosophy and science. I describe this not to boast, although I am very proud of the collection, but to illustrate how sad it now seems to be that no institution in this country is interested in taking this collection on my demise.

I have approached Simon Fraser University, UBC (Vancouver and Okanagan), Selkirk College and finally the Nelson Public Library. Typical responses were “most students read on an iPad” and “Oh, how interesting but we just don’t have room for them,” or “can you deliver them all to us but we may not be able to put them on a shelf.” In addition I have had some offers to buy some of the rare books (no chance). Two professors from UBC did check out the library but there was interest in cherry-picking some books only.

The Nelson library, which on taking them and making room, would have had a collection of modern philosophy books surpassed only by McGill University Library and maybe the one at McMaster, declined the offer. They informed me the books were far too esoteric for the average Nelson reader and were too academic.

Perhaps Nelson might benefit from becoming more academic and serious in its thinking. There are already enough pseudo-psychology, pseudo-philosophy and pseudo-scientific books around here to last several lifetimes. Oh, am I am a book snob? Yes, unashamedly, guilty as charged!

So it seems like the age of bibliophiles has passed, with a few dinosaurs around who actually read serious books. I have had some individuals locally express an interest in taking the whole lot. It will be that or a depressing run to the garbage dump.

So I remain rather sad but will continue reading and collecting books for a little longer.

Dr. John R. Dale

Nelson

Just Posted

Leafs lose marathon season opener

Nelson fell 3-2 to Fernie in double overtime

Latest round of Columbia River Treaty talks wrap up in Cranbrook

Federal, provincial, U.S. and Indigenous representatives recently met for eight round of discussions

CHECK THIS OUT: Libraries as safe spaces for the homeless

Anne DeGrace writes about an upcoming movie and talk focused on libraries and homelessness

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

PLACE NAMES: Kaslo and Sandon neighbourhoods

Narrow valley saw Sandon’s main street over a creek

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs for therapy treatment

Salvation Botanicals interested in manufacturing, testing and research and development

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

‘A real shame’: B.C. MLA says factors behind Tolko mill closing should have been caught

Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson said the industry is in bad shape across the province

VIDEO: Seniors at B.C. assisted living facility shocked by Oct. 1 eviction notice

Building owners terminate lease for McGuire Lake Congregate Living in Salmon Arm

Most Read