I am going through a process at the moment of moving a (fairly) long distance. One of the first things that struck me (read: made me panic) was what about my books?!?!?! Not surprisingly, I have quite a few books, and books are heavy to move. I needed to start coming to terms with the fact that all the books would not be coming with me.
Luckily I have a husband who is attached to books as much as me and who reassured me that it is completely fine to bring as many books as I want. I have spoken to a few other people about this conundrum and was reassured that I am not the only one with an attachment to books.
The biggest thing I struggle with is my English books from University. I have a Complete Shakespeare, a Chaucer and a Romantic Poets. Let’s be clear, it’s possible I have not opened them since I graduated many, many years ago. But I can’t bear to give them up. (I wouldn’t struggle with moving them so much if each one didn’t weigh the same as a small baby.) Someone wisely said to me, when I described this to them, that these books represent who you were at the time and what you wanted to be. There is a lot of emotion tied into these books. That makes sense to me.
Books do hold memories: where you were when you read it (IQ184 by Haruki Murakami while on vacation in Paris), who gave it to you and when (The Immortal Game by David Shenk….BJ gave this book to me on our first date). You get the picture. There are also just those books that you love so much that it would be like letting go of an old friend, like the Harry Potter series.
So, what to do with the books?
I have decided if there are books that have an emotional attachment, then they are ok to bring: I got it as a gift, I really loved it, etc. Ones I haven’t read and I ACTUALLY intend to read get to come along too. The rest will get donated so that others can enjoy them as much as I did.
As I start this new chapter in my life, it leaves room to invite new books into my (wait…our) bookshelves.