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Letting Go, Part 1

May 23, 2013

It’s been over two weeks since I last posted here, and in less time than that from now, I am riding off into the sunset. More accurately the sunrise, as I will be heading east. But in any case I am leaving one home behind to find another. Texas will become my fourth state of residence after Georgia, Indiana, and Colorado. Six days after school, and thus my current employment, ends, I hit the road. Not that said current employment had to end. I gave it up willingly, which I know is a risk in today’s economy. But I am leaping in faith, and I know I have a soft place to land.

And just like when I came here a decade ago, I am leaving with no more than what will fit in my car, a Hyundai hatchback. Being so minimal means letting go of so much. Which I believe is truly a good thing, but not at all easy. Not everything that holds a memory needs to be preserved; the memory will persist, with or without its tangible reminder. Almost everything falls under the one-year rule: if you haven’t looked at something, much less used it, in at least a year, then you don’t need it.

classic-booksBooks are the most difficult for me. Not that many articles of clothing are emotionally important to me. If I make myself, I can pare down to an adequately functional wardrobe.  Most of us don’t really need to fill a walk-in closet. Some clothes have to go with me, though. The difference is that you can’t digitize a shirt. You can now literally hold an entire library of books in one hand. I have a NOOK, plus a phone and two computers that can accomplish that purpose. Yet the real things are so hard to let go of still. It’s taking up entirely too much of my time, sorting books and hauling away those that I am giving up. Many I got trade-in credit for, others I am donating to libraries. But at best I will still have one largish plastic tub and cardboard shipping box dedicated to books taking up that preciously limited about of space in my vehicle.

Many of the books I had, a few I am still keeping, I’ve never even read. But I think that is part of their value. They hold the promise of “one day.” One day, you’re going to have days of leisure to sit by the fire, with your feet propped up, absorbing a hefty tome. There is also just something nice about seeing them arranged on a shelf. I admit it, I draw conclusions about people based on what I see on their bookcase— or if they even have a bookcase or not. The range of subject matter, the proportion of nonfiction reference to paperback novels, etc. There’s a reason Barnes & Noble sells those faux-leatherbound classics: sitting on your shelf, they make you look smart.

I like to think that I just can’t stop learning and exploring. On the other end, it could be pathological hoarding. The truth likely falls somewhere in the middle. To conclude, I say, long live books! Just not in my car.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2013 5:36 am

    I’ve travelled the world over and yes, the most difficult part has been leaving my books! Good luck on your new destination!

    Like

    • May 24, 2013 9:28 pm

      There’s just something so liberating about the idea of taking off and only carrying… well, more than will go on your back, but still. No furniture, etc. Traveling the world is my next objective!

      Like

      • May 24, 2013 9:41 pm

        That is a big objective! If you come to the north of Italy I show you some sights!

        Like

      • May 24, 2013 10:36 pm

        Why you have to love WordPress… that’s at least two of you I know in Italy, another in Romania, Australia, even Bahrain… see that is my plan. Eventually I’ll never need a hotel! 😀

        Like

  2. May 23, 2013 6:18 am

    Yay for moving to Texas!!! 🙂 Let me know if you and Becca come up to DFW this summer.

    Like

    • May 24, 2013 9:27 pm

      Yay indeed! I think my route will go somewhat south of there, but I’m sure we will be headed that way sometime.

      Like

  3. May 23, 2013 6:55 am

    I’m a book-hoarder too, but I’m happy now about e-books, they are easy to transport. Good luck in Texas!

    Like

    • May 24, 2013 9:26 pm

      Yep, no longer do we have to haul books, photo albums, CDs (/cassettes/records), even DVDs… but, of course, we have to have at least a 40″ HDTV to watch them on so ;D

      Like

  4. May 23, 2013 12:14 pm

    Good luck with packing and with your move. I try to go through all of my books every 6 months or so in an attempt to keep them from completely taking over my house. >.O It’s hard … so I definitely feel your pain!

    Like

  5. May 24, 2013 1:07 am

    Good job thinning them out. I know it is tough but I have lots of books here.

    Like

  6. May 27, 2013 10:23 pm

    I can send you some books too! Just on hockey, not baseball and crazy rabid squirrels. lol

    Like

  7. May 28, 2013 2:53 am

    When I moved back from Canada to Romania I left a lot of books behind. They are stored in a friend’s house, safe but still….Now I am about to leave Romania again and again I will leave books behind, stored in my parents’ house but still…The way I feel when leaving books behind, I can’t describe. Good luck with your new life!

    Like

  8. Storm M. Silvermane permalink
    June 8, 2013 9:06 pm

    When we moved into our house back in December, I had to beg the son and his friends to haul in the numerous boxes and totes full of books. We have currently three book shelves.. I really need to get two more so that they are stacked right. I am a bit ocd when it comes to that.

    Like

  9. December 2, 2013 10:59 pm

    Reblogged this on sueshan123blog.

    Like

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