Emma and I live in a house of many bits and pieces but the day of reckoning is upon us! A couple of weeks ago we bought our first house and now we must pick up (at least once) every single thing we have and pack it away.
I like to think that the older I get, the less I accumulate but yesterday, when I started packing the first of many, many boxes of books, I realised that I just don't have to keep them all.
This is a bit of a revelation for me - I've always had a lot of books, even when I was a kid. My bed had a little built in bookshelf with a night light in the corner and it was always full of books; my favourite titles or whatever I was reading at the time.
Now Em and I have eight bookcases, all full, with books stacked on top of books, squeezed into together.
But yesterday, as I picked up each book...I really scrutinised it and made myself explain (to myself) why I needed this book in my life. After a couple of hours, the KEEP stack was still higher than the OUT stack, but not by much. Yes, I did go back later and pick out a few titles from the OUT stack and put them in the KEEP stack, but not all books are created equal. Some I books I don't even remember (bibliophiles amnesia) buying let alone reading, some books I'd picked up second hand and couldn't say no because they were cheap or because I can't seem to not buy a copy of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier...even though I have three....and how did I end up with four copies of Jane Eyre? Three copies of To Kill A Mockingbird? Two copies of Emma? Three copies of Written on the Body? I think I know why. Some books are like sad, little orphans and I couldn't leave them all alone with Harry's Guide to Truck Maintenance or Electronics for Beginners.
Usually I feel a bit anxious when I let a book go. I'm not quite sure how to express the criteria, but this time round, I'm determined to only keep those books that I would go out and spend money on to replace.
Moving into a new house (in the spring) is like a new chapter and I suppose it feels like this is my chance to shake off a few habits and do things differently... kind of liberating, too.
The books will find a new home, a new reader, new hands to hold them...now to my egg cup collection...