estroying books – it makes us think of jackbooted fascists pouring gasoline over priceless tomes (or school boards caving to the pressures of the few). It goes against everything I treasure. But as mentioned, my retirement made me question what we were keeping (and paying to keep). I have boxes and boxes of old books, things I read and enjoyed (or tossed aside with a meh). All of these went into boxes with the idea that someday I’d have a library where I could put all my books and say lookit me!
Well, when I pulled the first box down, it hit me. Really? These are the books I was going to treasure? I’ve already got a mound of books next to me bed in pre-treasure state. Many of the boxed ones were roach eaten (or roach-worse). A lot of them were dated (yes, books can grow old). 90% of them I really didn’t need.
So I went through the mass, sitting on my driveway and tossing out three piles. A small pile for me, basically future read-n-toss (I’m not going to keep them for another thirty years). And then a medium pile for taking to the used bookshop (which I did, and the stack I gave them bought new two new/used books that are now next to my bed). And then there was the huge stack, the dumb, roach-shitty stack. These went into the recycle bin.
Now, our bin is the size of a chariot. Massive thing. We complained to the city but they said it comes in one size (Baldwin Park 2.5 kids consumer volume). And I filled it up. Once. And after the truck came by, a second time. Yeah, that’s a lot of books.
And you know what? I did keep the ones I loved for a second go-through. But these? They were fun (like one-time dates involving a pleasant meal and movie). I enjoyed them. Many of them might have changed my thinking and opened my mind a wee bit more. But the things with books (as with all horded possessions) – you really can’t keep them. You are really clutching at memories, nothing more. So maybe you need to look at your own stuffed shelves and see if there are really some titles that someone else (not you) might find pleasure in.
Trust me, you won’t believe how freeing this is!