In an effort to be prepared and economical for my upcoming overseas move, I am trying to take an honest look at my bookshelves and get rid of things I don’t need. It’s kind of like that thing where if you haven’t worn a clothing item for a year, you must get rid of it when the Amvets lady calls to seek donations.
The trouble is, in my case, that I am a lifelong bookworm and library nerd and this is turning out to be the most painful parting of ways so far in this paring down of worldly goods. As a child, you would generally find me in a corner, reading. I mean, always. I got books for every birthday and holiday. I wore out my library card. I literally read every single book in my elementary school library. When I grew up, I went to work in a bookstore and always loved it. I used to date librarians almost exclusively. I mean, I have a serious thing about books, people.
But realistically, even if I could afford to ship all of them (I probably can’t) I have to be reasonable and consider that there is a very tiny house waiting on the other side of the ocean and there simply isn’t room. But what stays and what goes? I mean, obviously I am not using my ophthalmology textbooks anymore, so they can go (and will fetch a nice price on half.com or something.) Take all the lousy horror novels people got me for Christmas grab bags, and anything I read that I thought, “Eh, it was ok,” and subsequently forgot the plot.
But what about things like my autographed copy of Interview With the Vampire? My leather bound first edition of the first Harry Potter book? The Michael Moore autographs? I mean, throw out my nice Quality Paperback of Eleanor Roosevelt’s biography but what do we do about the hardback Sesame Street books my mom used to read to me? High School year books? The book of John Donne poems given to me by a friend who has died since? The Buckminster Fuller I looked all over for, as it was out of print? The stack of books I got at Christmas last year that I haven’t even had time to crack open yet because I have been busy doing this meet-someone-get-married-move-to-another-country thing? I guess we can toss both copies of Catch 22 (they are really worn) and maybe even the Motorcycle Diaries, but man, I read that copy of Matilda about 900 times, and that copy of the Martian Chronicles is actually one I swiped from that english teacher I hated in eighth grade.
Urgh. Maybe I should just pray for fire.