There's no debating the logic of donating the comics. They'll be far safer in the high-security, fireproof library. And besides, I keep telling John, books are meant to be read, not sit in our basement. People will be able to study John's books in the Andersen reading room, as long as they leave their packs outside, use only a pencil or a computer to take notes, and wear white cotton gloves while handling them. That's a far cry from the days when my son read his copies in the bathtub.
After John had made all the arrangements to donate the books, I visited their final resting place. A delightful young woman took me to the lowest cavern, which is two stories high and the length of two football fields. This is where the books are kept at the optimum 62 degrees Fahrenheit and approximately 50 percent relative humidity, in acid free boxes on shelves lit by lights on timers like the knob you turn in a hotel bathroom for a sunlamp. Collections appraised at more than $100,000 carry the donor's name.