Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Moving of the Books.

(pic c/o Natalie Dee)

Welp, I finished moving last blizzardy Tuesday morning. And there was an NStar truck blocking the top of my one-way street. But we forged on. Things are well, if a little tricky; I am staying calm in spite of a giant life change and computer science homework. Really, one of the hardest parts of this has been what to do with the books. See, I've moved from a sunny, spacious apartment and had to fit my belongings into a much, much, much tinier room. But the apartment's perks do include the happiest three-legged pit bull of all time (!) and a roofdeck and parks nearby. And in the midst of the crappy packing process and ensuing dust allergy flareup, I found the very first love letter someone ever wrote me.

But I had to downsize. A lot. It's been so hard over the last 3 1/2 years of working here to resist the temptation of new books and advance reader copies - and the lifetime of book hoarding before Booksmith. But now they will just not physically fit.

So I decided I would keep my 50 most essential books. Okay. Maybe 100. I don't know. It was hard.

How does one even decide? I guess it all came down to this: what would I never read again? What would I just never get around to anytime soon? What comforts me? What is wise and helpful? What do I find creatively inspiring? And I don't really need two copies of Crime and Punishment, do I?

(I was also hugely inspired by Hoarders which Kate made me watch and it made me fear for my future.)

So I made a list a bit after I left my last place, when I was away from most of them, and just wrote the titles I just couldn't part with kind of instinctually based on that criteria. My Flannery O'Connor collection. My Mishimas. My Melvilles. Mary Gaitskill. The Children's Hospital. Wuthering Heights, obviously. Absurdistan and The Will to Whatevs, which I flip open when I need to laugh. The awesome works from awesome new guys, like Rachel Glaser and Mike Young and the neat things from Greying Ghost Press. And the advance reader for Sarah Silverman's The Bedwetter where she inscribed it and called me "unprofessional."

So last week, I sold back a bunch to our used book cellar. I made $81. That made it less painful, especially as I just parted with I don't know how much on textbooks. And Carl said someone had just been looking for The Picture of Dorian Gray, so I felt good about that at least, that someone will get the Oscar Wilde they need.

Aaand I still have more to sell. Sigh. And the ones I knew the UBC couldn't take - brought them to the lovely people of Boomerangs. There you will now find like half of my clothing and a lousy painting I made of Donald Rumsfeld's disembodied head floating over snack food. Also a Sega Genesis. Sigh.

Here's about half of what I have left, with some DIY floating bookshelves c/o Instructables and the Booksmith dollar cart:


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