Moving the Books

July 20, 2008 at 4:27 am | Posted in Book Blather | 1 Comment

I had to take a break from posting for a couple days, due to a massive furniture rearrangement.  See, I took in this parrot, and there wasn’t anywhere really for her stand to go.  I couldn’t put it off, either, because my dad came to visit.  That’s okay, though; I love moving my furniture and I also love making dramatic changes in a short time period.

The one thing I don’t particularly love moving is, naturally, the books.  Keep them around long enough, and they truly start to seem like wallpaper.  The shelves have a small footprint, especially compared to couches and tables.  It’s easy to forget that they take up several boxes and have a cumulative weight of, let’s estimate here, hundreds of thousands of pounds.  (At least it started to seem that way).  Now, this is just moving from one room to another.  I find myself considering my next move to a new apartment and simply shuddering.  This is the main reason I live on the ground floor – I wimp out at the thought of hauling all those boxes up even one flight of stairs.

About three quarters of the way through moving the books, I felt like my knees were going to buckle.  I started having to take frequent breaks – naturally, to read a couple of pages – so I could carry on and finish the job.  It’s almost insulting to have to do this heavy physical labor, when every load has an enticing book on the top, just beckoning you to sit down and rest and maybe delve in for a chapter or two.

The simple solution would be to unload a few bags, and indeed I think I will be forced to before my next move.  The trouble is that I haven’t read these books yet.  Where do they come from?  I’ve used BookMooch for many of these.  I traded books I had read for books I hadn’t, and, well, at this point I still haven’t.  I’ve also been the recipient of stacks of books from the other ladies in my book group.  This is fantastic, because I know my friends all have great taste in books, and about half of them were already on my to-read list.  On the other hand, it’s also frustrating, because I do have to hold down a day job and therefore can’t usually read more than one a day.  I just can’t see my way clear to unloading books I want to read and haven’t yet read.  I’d just have to go out at some point and get them again.

One of the main reasons to let go of books is to make room for new ones.  I made a decision years ago that I could only have one bookshelf, and I’ve kept to that fairly well.  Okay, so that one bookshelf fills up almost an entire wall… The important thing is to keep the books from taking over the entire house.  I’m not the sort to keep books for sentimental reasons, in general; once they’re read I’ll virtually never read them a second time.  Sure, I’d read Pride and Prejudice again – but I know I can either download it or check it out from any public library in the country.  Why would I need a copy in my house?

Anyway, there’s another reason I’m trying not to let “the backlog” build up too much.  That is, there’s a man in my life.  And if we ever had to collect all our books into one place, well, it would take up more than one wall.  It’s too easy to imagine us both buried under our shelves after an earthquake.  At least right now I know he could drive over and dig me out…

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  1. “It’s almost insulting to have to do this heavy physical labor, when every load has an enticing book on the top.”

    Ha ha! I’ve been trying to reorganize (well, organize) our books, which we keep in three different rooms on two different floors, and I am having the exact same problem!


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