Books, books, books…

books4I am in the process of moving out of my office at the college, an office completely filled with books. My husband went with me the other day and helped me fill 8 boxes with books, which took care of about a quarter of them…it was discouraging. I didn’t touch the file cabinets full of…stuff. An alphabetized file for authors I teach, being the most useful (and probably most useless now). I find it very very hard to part with any of it.

At home I’ve managed to empty 5 boxes by double shelving some books in my writing studio, and designating a lean 1/2 box to give away. (The shelves in the house are already stuffed full.)

This weekend I visited my mother. On Monday morning we went to see my 92-year-old aunt who recently moved from her one-bedroom apartment at the retirement center (where my mother lives) to a studio apartment in her son’s backyard. The new apartment may be a bit larger than her digs at the retirement center, but there is no closet space. In recent years, I’ve watched my aunt downsize from a house to an apartment, to the one-bedroom apartment, and now, again, to living quarters with no closet, and it’s been–inspiring. She commented, “After this, I’ll be moving to an even smaller space!”

There’s no baggage check in heaven. They don’t want your stuff.

And, still, it’s hard to give up my books. This one? I think, picking it up and opening it, reading a passage and then wondering if I wouldn’t like to read the whole book again.

Maybe I’d like to blog about this book! I could quote from this page! 

And maybe, if I really want to read this book again, I can find it at the library.

Oh, dear books.


6 replies
  1. Janet Blumberg
    Janet Blumberg says:

    I do have suggestions. : )

    i say, Bethany, keep them! You’ll have a place for them in time. Don’t worry about it.

    I have sometimes thought of moving near my son and then realized that beyond all else, I couldn’t leave my books. Maybe it’s different for me, because I’m so historically oriented and I have a complete research collection all around me in every period and subject I deal with. I keep thinking maybe I could give up just the novels — they are in libraries. But then I can’t. They are all little bits of me. It would be like making horcruxes out of my soul to dispense with them. Having them near me helps give me strength to write.

  2. cherielanglois
    cherielanglois says:

    I, too, love books. You can find them in every room within our smallish home, and I’m always accumulating more, while being reluctant to part with any of them. Still, when I acquire any new books I try to purge a few of the ones that I wasn’t crazy about or don’t plan on reading again (or never got around to reading and, for whatever reason, probably never will). I usually donate them either to our local library or food bank, so they’ll wind up in the hands of someone who can’t afford to buy new books. Have you read The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Bethany? Clearly, we both need a library the size of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books to hold all of our books! Thanks for a great bookish blog 🙂

    • Janet Blumberg
      Janet Blumberg says:

      Does it feel the same? I’m really curious about that. Maybe if I had an electronic library instead of just reading them on a screen and then they are gone?


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