Sunday, January 27, 2019

Letting Go Wasn't as Painful as I Expected...

I've accumulated a whole lot of books over the years; probably to make up for my early years when I didn't have money to buy books and I didn't have easy access to a library. When I got my first job at a bookstore (Farley's Bookshop in New Hope, PA), I was like a kid in a candy store. I could buy whatever I wanted, and I didn't waste any time. Then I worked at B&N for 21 years, and having my own place and the freedom to spend my money however I wanted to; well, I bought a lot of books. I loved life then; I spent a lot of time talking to friends about books, bought books for family and friends, and had a bunch of young nieces and nephews that I could introduce to the magic and complete awesomeness of books and reading. I kept all of my textbooks from college, and just kept adding to boxes and piles. I had no intention of ever letting any of my books go. I just couldn't imagine it. 

I've been in the same house for 18 years (OMG I just realized that), and we all know that means adding boxes and boxes to the basement--out of sight, out of mind. But life has certainly changed over the years, and thinking of what are sure to be lots of big life changes coming up in the next few years, I've got to let go. And it's just not letting go of a bunch of books, but letting go of a part of my life where books kept me sane, kept me from being overwhelmed by loneliness, and kept me exploring all of the subjects I so loved: ancient history, American Civil War, all things paranormal, and odd, quirky books. All of those books helped me be better at my job as a bookseller; they gave me an education that was priceless, and helped me make connections with people. Those books made me realize just how much I loved reading and books, and how central it was to my life and my happiness. They helped me understand that whatever I did for a career, it had to include books and connecting them to people. I've gone through boxes of books before, and taken books to donate and for resale at Half-Price books. But I didn't let go of much. Today was different. I let go of a lot. 

So this morning, instead of reading, I decided to go through the boxes I had in my basement. I had 10, which doesn't sound like much. I didn't look at anything on my bookcases, but focused on those 10 boxes. Hundreds of books. Probably not as many as others have, but a lot for my little house to hold. I can't even think about the hundreds I have everywhere else in my house. This was a big first step. 

It's taken me about 4 hours, but I've sorted my books, and out of ten boxes, I've managed to whittle what I'm keeping down to 2 1/2 boxes. I've got books to give to Goodwill, books to donate to the Friends of the Library, books to go to the recycling bin, and books to give to friends. I discovered a few books I forgot about, but really want to read (more John Bellairs novels!) and realized it wasn't hard to let go. I kept a steady pace and didn't waver in putting books in the donate piles. My little house is a bit of a mess, but I've made a big dent in clearing out a lot of "stuff". Looking at my college books, and thinking about that part of my life...it seems life a lifetime ago. So much has changed since then: I've gone back to school, changed careers, lost both parents and a sister; found the love of my life and have made plans for a life together that will see us into our retirement years. For me, books make a house a home. I will always have too many books, but I've found that letting go gets easier the older I get. Not having kids to pass my stuff onto also makes it easier to let go. My mind feels a bit more calm, knowing I've made a start clearing the clutter and getting organized. 

Now I've got to haul everything out to my car and send all of these books off into the world, for someone else to enjoy. So yes, I pulled a KonMari today. It was good. My heart is happy. 

1 comment :

  1. Bravo and pulling a KonMari today!!

    Sounds like you did a great job of letting go of books you no longer want. Glad it was easier to let go of your books than you previously thought. It's a difficult thing to do for me even, though I don't have as many as you do.