Hundreds of BooksPosted: July 21, 2011
T. and I will move in just over a month. Fortunately for us, we’re moving to a house about 10 minutes from our current address, so it’s a fairly relaxed move. Unfortunately for us, we still have to pack up all of our things and transport them to the new house. Our current apartment is fairly small and has kept us at the basic level of furniture during our first year of marriage–a table, a couple of chairs, a small couch, a bed, a dresser set, etc. T. doesn’t even have a nightstand but instead uses two storage tubs stacked on top of each other (we didn’t have anywhere else to put the stupid things). It’s a pretty spartan existence until taking into account the books.
By my count, we have twenty-one shelves and four boxes filled with books. There are probably thousands of dollars of books in our apartment. Sometimes it feels like the children’s story, Millions of Cats, except with books instead of cats. Hundreds of books, thousands of books, millions and billions and trillions of books. We have theology books (of course), children’s chapter books, history books, linguistic books, sociology books, and novels galore.
Admittedly, it’s rather impractical to have such a huge personal library when we know that we will move constantly the next three years. Books are heavy and bookshelves are a pain to move. Some of the most given moving advice is to cut down on the books by selling the books you know you will be able to find at the library–it saves time and money. Despite the practicality of this idea, I have yet to par down my library. Actually, I can’t bring myself to even start.
Perhaps it’s materialistic of me but the books mean more than stories and information. The book’s physical presence tell a story beyond the words on the page. Some books I’ve had since elementary school and to get rid of them would be like getting rid of my baby blanket. Other books I acquired in college and to sell them would be like selling bits of my education. Most of all, the stories are unchanging. Elizabeth will always marry Mr. Darcy, Ender will always unknowingly and sadly lead his troops to victory against the buggers, Lady Audley’s dark secret will always be revealed, and so on. And at this point in my life when constant and drastic change is guaranteed–moving, changing jobs, figuring out this marriage thing–something consistent is needed. So I will haul my books around the United States if needed but I will not take away my piece of consistency.
So excuse me, I need to start thinking about how to pack the hundreds of books, thousands of books, millions and billions and trillions of books.