"...nothing is so mortifying as to discover an imperfection in a book which has been on one's shelves for years."
Now, maybe it's just me, but I can think of a lot of things more mortifying than that. It could be that I'm not interested in rare books from a personal collection standpoint -- collectors must have pride in their collected items, after all -- but instead drawn to rare books librarianship. I want to work with these old texts, not have them for having's sake.
Regardless, though, I can still think of more mortifying scenarios. Like falling of the bus into a crowd of people. Like spilling food on my fancy dress at the beginning of the party. Like spilling food on someone else's fancy dress, regardless of how long the party will continue to last. Like getting divorced on reality tv. Like being on reality tv in general.
Do I make my point? And is it just me?