This past week, I had to do something more upsetting than the election! No really – I had to purge my books. Duh Duh Duuuuhn!!
I’m moving for a new job to a new state and having done this once before, I know how movers feel about 30 boxes of books. And I can’t really call them little, whimpy babies this time around because I’ve developed enough arthritis to view the prospect a bit dimly myself. So the books had to go.
Packing up the mass market paperbacks was easy. They went into 3 boxes, neat and tidy. I like the boxes that reams of paper come in. They’re designed to hold heavy paper, study and not too large. Then I started in on the trade paperbacks.
Okay, whose bright idea was it to upgrade paperbacks from 4″x7″ to 6″x9″?! When I hit 3 boxes and still had 2 shelves to go, I realized I would have to seriously purge. I’d already gone through the books once and got rid of all my marketing and business texts when I realized that most of them predated the internet, but now I needed to cull more.
It was excruciating! Agonizing even! I love my books and I don’t like reading them on a tiny little screen. I had already passed on several of my older paperbacks that were one step from falling apart, replaced them with Kindle versions, then replaced them again with new paperback editions. Okay, not Virginia Woolfe. Her, I could let go. Eventually, I managed to get the trade paperbacks down to 3 boxes.
I had to step away for a day before I could tackle the hardbacks. Most were textbooks, but when I last moved in 2002, Google Scholar didn’t exist yet. If I needed to know the difference between an acid and a base, I would have needed that chemistry text. I still might if the internet goes out and my murder mystery’s on deadline! It was a difficult decision, but the final incentive was they got good homes.
I was a little chagrined to realize I had 15 grammar books which might have been a bit excessive even for a professional grammarian. But I wasn’t embarrassed for long as the 11 I let go were gratefully, even enthusiastically adopted by eager students when I brought them into work. Say what you like about expense or convenience. Nothing has quite the same hold as that special bond between a book and its owner!