Books, books, books. There are books in every room and outbuilding here, as well as the books in the E-West Library (above)...and I've lost some sleep since the Retreat closed wondering what on earth would become of them. There are books I've been collecting since I was young, books I worked on in my years as an editor in New York, and books reviewed for the sixteen volumes of The Year's Fantasy & Horror that I co-edited with Ellen Datlow. There are folklore texts and fat art volumes and first editions signed by various writer friends...and a whole lot more. I haven't the space to house them in England, where our house is tiny and the bookshelves full-to-bursting already. What (I wondered) would become of these Mythic Arts orphans, wandering friendless and alone in the cold, cruel world...?
It turns out that there's a wonderful solution to the problem, thanks to the efforts of Ellen Kushner and Lynne Thomas. The bulk of the E-West Library is now being donated to the Special Collections at Northern Illinois University, where the books will be of use to students and researchers of mythic arts and fantastic literature. Hoorah!
Also, the indefatiguable Ellen is now holding an E-West Book Auction for a few hand-selected gems from the library shelves. There will be several different boxes of books to bid on, with the auction running over the next few days. Money raised this way will be used to defray international moving expenses (I'd like to take a few favorites to Devon, but shipping costs are insanely high). So if you'd like own some lovely books, and also a little piece of E-West's history, head over to Puggy's Hill (Ellen's blog), where the first auction has now begun.....
Edited to add: The second auction has started now, with four new boxes of books to chose from: A Biography Box, a Poetry Lover's Box, a Short Story Lover's Box, and a box of Fiction by Native American Authors. You'll find more information on Puggy's Hill. And stayed tuned for Ellen's final auctions: Pre-Raphaelite treasures, art from the E-West studio, and other sundry things.
Edited again to add: These auctions are now closed, and the books will soon be on their way to their new homes. Many thanks to all who bid.