Here's a cautionary tale from The Columbus Dispatch:
Walker Lowman's beloved collection of 6,500 books - about the same number that Congress purchased from the third president in 1815 - is being scattered all over town.[...]
"He would probably not be very happy right now that his collection is being broken up," said daughter Karen West, 57.
While helping appraiser Jeff Baker organize the contents of Lowman's Upper Arlington home in advance of an estate sale starting today, the Northwest Side resident shared reminiscences this week about her father - who died in January at age 85.
The siblings did what they could to keep things intact, dividing about 1,000 books among them. The rest were offered to the OSU Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, which selected about 200 - many of them first editions signed by their authors.Mr. Lowman's children are doing everything possible to do what is right with their father's lifetime collection, but there is only so much anyone can do when faced with the sudden burden of finding a home for more than 6,000 books.
"Nobody in the family had room for 6,000 books in their home," West said of the decision to donate and sell the remainder.
Is this something we, as collectors and book lovers, should take care of before we leave this world for our next gig? Should we find future homes for our books and leave written instructions for those left with the task of cleaning up behind us? It's certainly something to think about and I might just start placing little name tags inside the books I want to see kept in the family - as a start to easing the burden on my own family. Another thing I need to do is to prepare a list of which of my books have some extra value so that they don't get lost in the shuffle. Just what I need...another bookish project.