If I truly had my druthers, “moving” would mean shipping off to start a new colony of humans on some distant alien world. It wouldn’t be something as mundane as upgrading from an apartment to a townhome. Yet that is exactly what happened to me recently and through the process I learned some very important lessons about being a book geek:
1. Books Are Really Heavy
In other news, the sky is blue.
No seriously, the average paperback and hardcover barely weigh anything at all. You can balance a stack of them in your hands and not break a sweat. When you have to pack them all in boxes, however, that is when things become interesting. Suddenly you understand just how heavy paper really is after filling box after box of books and then expecting someone to transport them up and down stairs. I probably would have felt sorry for the people who helped me move my office, if I wasn’t too busy catching my breath after moving a small box containing the leather bound complete works of Shakespeare and a hardcover guide to every Simpsons episode.
Which brings me to my next point…
2. You Come to Appreciate E-books More
There have been a lot of talk about e-books recently, but for better or worse, they are here to stay. I for one welcome and celebrate their practicality. They save on space, are more affordable and as long as you have a good e-reader, you can transport an entire library around the world. Granted a paper book never needs to be charged, but it is a small price to pay, especially if you live someplace where space is a rare commodity. In my old 2 bed/1 bath apartment, my wife and I both used the spare bedroom as an office/storage room. Things were cramped and thus I had to limit my book hoarding from the beginning.
That being said…
3. You Will Be Amazed At How Many Books You Actually Own
I found them on my bookshelf, on my wife’s bookshelf, on my desk, under my desk, in my drawers, under my bed, under my TV stand, on the breakfront, on the DVD shelf, etc. As I continued packing they just kept appearing randomly all over the apartment. It really was eye-opening how many books I owned and only ever read once. It makes you really wonder why collect books at all. So I did some necessary purging. I gave books away to friends, sold some to Half Price Books and will be selling a few more at an upcoming garage sale. Suddenly my collection became a bit more manageable and I had high hopes of keeping it under control in the near future.
4. The Urge To Collect Is Strong
There was just so many books I couldn’t give away, like signed author copies, rare uncorrected proofs and other books that I had sentimental attachment to, like my grandmother’s copy of The Exorcist. Then there is the fact that I have so much more room now. I really can buy more shelves and fill them with even more books. I can hear my e-books whispering to me about their practicality, but there is just something alluring about the feel and smell of a good paper copy that you can arrange on your own personal library when you finish it.
I want to learn my lesson. I want to be able to keep my book hoarding under control in case I ever need to move those books again…but I have a feeling I will eventually succumb to the inevitable.
O woe is me!