“Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.
Good night, good night! parting is such
sweet sorrow.” – Shakespeare
The quotation is, of course, from Romeo and Juliet, and the Bard is speaking of the challenge of letting go, even briefly, of the beloved. The same sentiment could equally be expressed when it comes to letting go of anything, even objects. Such can be the case with us readers. Letting go of your big collection of books and comics for whatever reason, can be difficult.
I was prompted by the thought when I saw our own Steve Davidson’s Facebook posts about relocating his vast intergalactic library. As of the time of writing he’d got most of the shelves up, but was only partway through alphabetizing the B’s (Bester, Bischoff, Beale, Brin, et al). Poor bugger.
Unlike Steve I had to part with several collections at different times in the past, for a variety of reasons. The first was a huge collection of science fiction paperbacks (Sphere, Ace Doubles, Pan, you name it). I let a couple of my science-fiction-loving pals – then just into our 20s – dig through multiple tea chests filled with them. They left my place with huge armfuls of books. The rest went to charity shops. Oh, well, I’ve read them all, I justified to myself, and they’re off to good homes.
But, after wiping away the tears, I moved on. Later, my massive collection of comics and graphic novels had to go – sold at rock bottom price to a comics shop. There had been mint first editions in there, I thought, how dare he insult me with that price? But in the end, I relented. The collection was holding me back from moving on (quite literally – the new place wasn’t big enough for all that paper and cardboard).
So, do I regret the letting go? Actually no, I don’t. I made space for some truly amazing new things in my life…less “things” and more “experiences”. Besides, I’ve got a massive book collection on my Kindle which I may never even get around to, my main focus being on the books that publishers keep throwing at me to review for Adventures in Scifi Publishing.
Plus, if I’m feeling nostalgic, there are some great resources for older science fiction and fantasy (and noir and on and on) out there. Here are just a few I recommend. You can gorge yourself and not worry about dust bunnies on your shelves, or resentment from your families or spouse about your geek kingdom encroaching on the real world.