Monday, September 28, 2009

Not the books!


We have completed the built-in bookshelf in our office (aka: Ben has completed it), which has meant something wonderful: we have unpacked (almost) all of our books from storage. Anyone else who loves books knows what it means to have all of your beloved books at hand. It feels like being reunited with wonderful old friends.

However, as I picked up each book, remembered it, and placed it on a shelf, I realized that some of these books don't quite fit me anymore. Not just in a temporary sort of way, but possibly in a permanent sort of way-- I've changed, my life has changed, and I can't ever imagine reading them again. Which has put me, the book hoarder, in a difficult situation, because I really have no justification in keeping these (once beloved to me) books, especially since they could really be treasured by someone else. Even though they are books, and somehow it feels so wrong giving them away (and here is where I start to develop compassion for clothes hoarders, or even those people who hoard junk in their back yard, because it's hard to part with something that you love).

So I have started a couple of boxes-- one for books to donate to the public library, one for books to donate to our church library, and one for books that have been borrowed and need to be returned to their original owners. And as I pull those books off the shelf, it does feel somewhat cleansing, especially as I look at the precious books that are left behind. Books that are wise, funny, sacred, yet unread, or read many times.

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