I am moving to Atlanta this week. A move to the big city means big city rents, and I am going to be living in a place smaller than what I am accustomed to, at least for the time being. This means making some hard choices because I have come to the conclusion that all of my books won't fit in my new place. I was already out of shelf space, and now I'll have less room for shelves. Unless I want to fill my pantry with books and keep my food in the bathroom I'm going to have to pick and choose. So, some books are going into storage.
It's an agonizing process. Some choices are easy. For instance, there are a bunch of books I haven't read yet. Those are coming. My Hard Case Crime collection is coming, if for no other reason than I like how they look lined up on the shelf. My copy of Finnegan's Wake? It can stay. I've got to be honest with myself at this point, I'm never going to read it. I've tried. The same goes for A Confederacy of Dunces. I tried. I really did, but it's crap.
I've whittled something like ten boxes down to four, and I've still got a bunch of books in storage I'm just going to take without sorting.
The entire process has made me realize how attached I am to all my books, even the ones I haven't read in a while, or didn't particularly like. My books are my most important possessions, and the contents of my bookshelves say a lot about me. I know that I always peruse people's book collections when I'm in their house for the first time, and I do make judgments about people based on their books. I can't help it. As such, I wonder what people will think if I leave my Will Self books in a box. Will they think I don't know who he is? That I've never read anything he wrote? No. They won't. They'll think I have a really old television.
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