words, words, words

It amazes me to observe how much my psyche is tied up in my books. With the upcoming trip I’ll have to put my ebooks into storage, so it seems prudent to get rid of ones that I won’t be needing in the future. I’ve also got my Kindle, which I absolutely love, and part of my justification for getting it was that I could save house/storage space by obtaining digital copies of books.

That said, the titles on my bookshelves say who I was, who I am, and who I want to be. If I replace them with my Kindle then I won’t have a physical reminder of who I am, and no way to show that off to visitors. When I set up a home one of the first things I do is deploy the bookshelves and unload the books. That makes it feel way more like home. Screw my dishes – as long as I have a plate and a fork I’m good for a couple weeks.

Going through this purge feels like a multifaceted assault on my self-identity. What makes it even harder is that I notice all the self-judgement and “shoulding” when I look through the books.. There’s the literature that I’ve been meaning to get around to reading, and I’ll be a better person once I’ve read them. Others are nonfiction for hobbies that I don’t have yet but I’m sure I’ll have at any moment as soon as I have time and space for them. Then there’s the books for hobbies I used to have that I don’t keep up with anymore and feel bad for not keeping up with them. They say to me “hey man, you were really into this, why aren’t you doing it anymore?”

I’m aiming to cut out about half of them this go around. Delicious Library has been particularly useful in this endeavor – I feel that if I at least record what books I had, then I’ll be able to get them again later (or get digital copies to read when I actually have time to read them). I really have no idea how the true nomads manage to get rid of EVERYTHING for good. Maybe I’ll get more of a taste for that as I travel, but for now, I really like the idea of having a home full of books to come back to.

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