It’s getting closer to moving day, and my boyfriend and I have been doing our best to downsize. It’s been tough, though. We’ve both accumulated so many books, movies, and games over the last several years (Holy crap, have I really been in this college town since 2007?), and we’re pretty attached to a lot of them. The books are the hardest to let go, though.
Whether it’s a reference book or a fantasy novel, there’s just something about holding a physical copy and flipping through it that makes me pause when I hover over my “to donate” pile. A lot of my books bring back nice memories for me. I picked up my Circuits 1 textbook, and it just made me smile because I remember loving that class so much. Unfortunately, since we’re making a cross-country move into a tiny apartment and paying for it ourselves, we have to be choosy about what we pack into our shipping container. I have a couple of other good electronics books that amount to about half the volume of that circuits book, and they cover the most important bits and then some. So, the circuits textbook isn’t coming with me.
Then I look at my mismatched collection of Narnia books, all of them paperback, some still sporting tacky WalMart stickers. A couple of them are even raggedy garage sale copies. But I remember how as a kid, I would carefully save my allowance until I wanted a book or game, and I remember buying those Narnia books myself and devouring them. Still, when I move, I can get a better set to put next to my lovely hardbound Lord of the Rings novels (which are most definitely coming with me!). Hopefully, some other kid will read and enjoy my Narnia books at a local library.
I also have a garage sale collection of Sherlock Holmes stories that found its way into the donation pile. I did hesitate (it’s hardcover!), but if I’m honest, I’ll just use it as an excuse to pick up a nicer copy that actually contains all of Holmes’ adventures. I will, however, keep the dog-eared Sherlock Holmes paperback that has a lovely note from my uncle’s mother inside the front cover. That one was a gift.
It’s not always so difficult to pass on some books to other people, though. There are textbooks from classes I’d like to forget and a ton of less-than-awesome Shannara trades that I am more than happy to donate to someone else’s library. I have sorority sisters who would be able to save money by using some of my engineering textbooks, and some of my other friends have already taken a load of paperback novels off my hands.
Basically, it looks like I’m only keeping my favorites (sorry library, but you’re not getting Snow Crash, The Blue Sword, or a single Harry Potter book) and reference books I
hope think I’ll use in the near future (I’ve got this book on Ruby, for example, that I’ve been meaning to sit down with but just haven’t found the time for…), and that’s okay. I had several classic novels that I kind of wanted to bring, but I realized that I probably wouldn’t read them again any time soon. As much as I love To Kill a Mocking Bird, Catch 22, and Jane Eyre, I read all of those before I graduated high school, and I haven’t opened them since. It’s time to let someone else experience them.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t pick up a new copies when I’m finished moving. I’d probably even be excited to read them again.