Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Write By Wednesday-- Sniffing Books

I am moving soon, and that always prompts a bit of dread, both for the obvious reason of moving sucks, and for some less than obvious reasons.

A pack rat by nature, I am becoming much more pragmatic in my old age. I used to keep every ticket stub, program, book read, shirt worn, picture taken, card received, wrapping paper opened, ceramic statue displayed, etc. Luckily or unluckily, I have moved too many damn times to keep schlepping this crap all over the state. So every time I move, I purge, and cleanse, and clean out all life's detritus from my home.

Except books... I have some kind of mental illness related to books. Every time I get through everything else, and think "I need to get rid of some books" I just find that I cannot. It is RIDICULOUS. I own more than 1,000 books (about 8-10 HEAVY boxes worth), and from textbooks for college pre-reqs through specific cookbooks bought during some diet fad or another, I find them all impossible to part with.

I'm trying. I really am. I have a Kindle now, and can replace just about anything electronically and use a ton less space. But, the way books smell is just something I love. Yes... I sniff books and relish in the brittle paper and fragrance of content.

But I also look at every book as someone's life's work. Maybe they are, but maybe they aren't. Regardless, its hard work, and getting rid of them just seems so disrespectful.

Am I just totally bent? Anyone else share this illness?


  1. I have boxes and boxes of them. The old ones are the hardest for me to get rid of.

  2. My husband is a pack rat - and I'm the opposite. Good luck with your move!

  3. I don't really share the love of the scent of old books. If anything, I do like the way well made books look with leather bound covers and or nice gimick covers. But they have to be hard bound. I don't like paperbacks. The invention of ereaders has made it possible to carry so much in such a small place that the benefits far outweigh traditional printed copies (in my opinion).

  4. Its very difficult to get rid of books. I brought a Kindle over a year ago, its the way forward. I've also started giving a lot of my books away to charity shops.

    All the best for your move.

  5. I was in a similar place. I moved 7 times in 6 years, and was getting sick of the books. When I moved in with my partner Chris, we combined our books and we have an enormous collection now. It was difficult even to part with the duplicates, but eventually we did. I eventually also parted with all the crappy books--the romance paperbacks, the Spanish 101 text book, the awful 5-ingredient cookbook, lol. I realized that getting rid of the crappy books made the rest of the books--the good ones, the literature, the collector's items, the childhood memories--shine just that much more. So I recommend a good purge of the ones you KNOW are just taking up space--it will feel better than you think. :)