Letting go of things – My Books (follow up).

A while ago I spoke about how I was going to give away most of my book collection. Well I’ve started. Over the past two weeks I have donated about 130 books to charity, and it’s hard to think of anything I’ve done in recent times, which hurt me more to do.

But I’ve made a good start. All my Star Trek and Wars novels have been given away. So have almost all of my random “one book by a random writer” books, have hopefully found their way in to loving new hands. I even gave away my complete set of The Black Magician. And believe me that one hurt.

But none hurt so much as giving away the very first book I ever bought for myself.

Back when I was 12 I bought myself a book. It was second-hand. It was paperback. It was a book which I didn’t realise came in the middle of a series (sort of).  It cost four pounds. It was Scions of Shannara by Terry Brooks. And it marked the start of my book collection. Within a year I had fifty books, including all of the Shannara series which had been written to that point.

But mostly it represented for me the moment I started to grow up. I wanted to read what I wanted to read. I had money, and I spent it for my own pleasure.

Well anyway after 22 years in my possession it has finally been passed on to someone else. I hope they gain as much pleasure from it as I did.

Now I guess I should get to what I’m gaining from this clear out, rather than what I’m losing. Which is really meant to be the point of this post.

Well so far I’ve gained;

  • Space; after 130 books leaving my possession 1 and a half book cases are now empty. This means that I have display type storage space for numberous things which had yet to be unpacked after my move to my new house.
  • Much less dust; even after so little has been given away I was stunned by just how much less dust there is where those huge stacks of books used to me. I mean we all know that books collect dust the way readers collect books. But when I compare where those books used to be, to where there still are books in my home…blown away by the difference.
  • Closure; each of my books was a memory. If they weren’t I wouldn’t have kept them. And even though none of those memories were exactly bad, they were often linked to memories of experiences which have haunted me my whole life. It came as a total surprise to me how much better I feel about those memories as I give away each physical link to them.What happened is still there, still a part of my past, and what brought me to this point in my life. But, giving away the book connected to a given adjacent memory feels kind of like snapping a rope that was holding the bad memory close to me. And now they’re just drifting off into past where they belong.

So ya, that’s what I’ve gained. Anyway have a great weekend folks, see ye on Tuesday.

5 Comments to “Letting go of things – My Books (follow up).”

  1. I donated about 2/3rds of my book collection last year, I hope that they were able to bring asmuch joy to other people as they did to me.

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