August 21, 2010

Purging the bookshelf and more

It had to happen someday. I had to let go of an absurd number of books.
I'm exhilarated that it is done, but getting there took, well, years.

You see, I love books. I was raised to love books. None of my childhood books had crayon marks, if we bought them new.
Books and learning were our religion.
I love books; the information and stories between the covers, the potential in a craft or home improvement book, the promise of family meals in cookbooks.
One of my favorite bands has the line "oh there's nothing better/ than the smell of a used book store/ we'll get lost between the covers."
Thanks, Ezra and Keith!
(song is Old Things by Trout Fishing in America, a band named after a book.)

But the books had to be set free. I am moving into a small place that already has an occupant, and very little room for stuff of mine.
Two years ago, my library numbered close to 1000 books. It is now four beer boxes.

I'm reeling, in one way and feel liberated in another.
Now I have to use the library heavily, and that will keep me from reading the same 100 books again and again.

I culled my CDs in a similar way.
I had acquired many from a previous employer, CDs from every artist who played over a seven year span. I was given the majority as a thank you for selling merchandise.
Some were from the free box.

In many ways, culling clothing was easier. I don't have a shoe fetish. I don't have handbags or purses. I dress in what is kindly called an eccentric way.
Over the past two years, I've started dressing in black and green with the odd brown shirt.
Long way from the tie dye I lived in for 14 years!
One item took me by surprise.
I have a nice but holey warm sweater from Nepal. I bought it in Ft. Collins before a String Cheese Incident concert in 1998. I said then that it would bring me to Colorado to stay.
So, packing in an apartment in Englewood, Colo., I folded up the well worn sweater and started to drop in in the donations bag.
But I couldn't. I felt a wave of sadness at the idea. Honestly, I cried. over a sweater. (yes, pitiful, isn't it?)
But I listened to that impulse, and kept it.
A fleece took its place in the donation bag.

What strangely emotion moments have you had during moves? What surprised you?