Monday, October 15, 2012

Holding on and Letting go

Moving week is finally here. By this time next week, we'll be ensconced in our new home, taking stuff out of the boxes we're filling now. The picture above is one load of donations to a friend's library sale. A lot of these books came from library sales to begin with, and more than a few of them are returning to the sale from whence they came.

Though our apartment is a good size, there's no way to bring all of the books. For me, moving the books is what makes the move real. Books are the first thing down and first thing up (second, if one counts bookcases) if I have any say in the matter, and the process of deciding what to bring and what to release into the wild is an adventure all on its own. Some decisions are easy. Research books purchased for a project that is now long completed, interests that have changed, or duplicate copies are like that. Others are trickier. Have I read that? Am I going to read it? Really? If read, will I reread it? Can I get rid of the paper version and replace it with electronic?

I've fished more than one rescued book out of the DH's discard pile because he does not understand the neccessity of an obscure title, but I leave his picks of his own stuff alone. There are books I can't part with, because they have fused with me and it would be like excising a body part and sending it off into the unknown. Others have had their time with me and I like imagining someone else idly browsing the romance section of the sale and finding an unexpected treasure. They don't know it yet, but they have just touched their favorite book for the first time. Kind of exciting there.

Other books will go into the storage unit, either for a short time or until we make our next and hopefully final move. The rest, though, the special ones, those we count worth the trouble of packing and hauling down the stairs, onto the van, out of the van, up the stairs and into their eventual homes on whatever bookcases will fit.

When I last moved out of a college dorm room, many, many years ago, I divided my books into books I would be devastated if I lost and books whose absence I could bear. It hasn't become any easier to move, but the criteria is still the same. Thankfully, for those that are staying with me, it's only a short parting. I'll see them again in the new place.

How do you decide what books make the move with you?

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