My grandfather was a voracious consumer & collector of books. “Food for the mind,” he’d say. I’m lucky to share his value system.

The size of a serious collector’s library after 70 years of adult acquisition is unfathomable. I’d estimate he had over 6,000 books in his possession when he passed this spring.

Today over 6 hours, my parents & I catalogued 600 of those books (using an iPhone w/ Red Laser, an iPad for collecting un-scannable ISBNs, Delicious Library 2, and a little AppleScript to grease the process)

I do believe ’liquidity is the new luxury’, and after moving hundreds of pounds of books, I’m glad my reading habit’s total burden is the weight of an iPad.

One thing that shocked me though: of the 600 books from decades of collecting, total retail value at purchase was $9,000. Total ‘current value’ as estimated by Amazon’s used book market? About $9,000.

While we’ll likely donate most of the books, I was surprised the numbers worked out so closely.