Scared ya, didn't I?
No one wants to get rid of books - they're kind of like a security blanket for the intellect. But if you want to live lightly, you may need to ditch a few of your collected tomes.
I got home on Friday night, and since I've been chomping at the bit to get to this "halving" business, I decided to dig right in yesterday. I started by piling up all the books in the house. Here they are:
I have moved at least 20 times in the last 20 years, and I cull my books each time, so my pile isn't nearly as big as it might be. I actually realized a long time ago I couldn't haul around a library like the one I'd always envisioned having. Still, it wasn't easy to get started last night.
Luckily, my son noticed what I was doing. He helped me move all the books and then watched me take pictures and start sorting them.
"What are you doing?"
"Trying to get rid of half these books."
"How many books are there?"
Hmmmmm. I didn't know. So my son counted them. As he shoved each pile in my direction, I began to look through them, feeling more and more daunted by my task. Each book has a memory - often involving my kids. Maybe I should have started with something else, I thought.
"Seven hundred and eighty-five," my son announced. "That's how many books there are." He sat on the couch and started scribbling numbers. "That means, if you paid an average of $5.00 per book, you would have an extra $3925 dollars if you hadn't bought them. And if they cost an average of $10.00 per book, you spent somewhere around $7850. That's a lot of money!"
That is a lot of money. Damn. Suddenly, a very bright lightbulb went off in my head. Getting rid of half my stuff may free me up for travel and make it easier to live in a smaller space, but if I really want more money the trick is to buy less stuff.
I began sorting with a vengeance. And in the end I managed to get rid of 321 books. That's not quite half - I need to shed 71 more - but it's a great start. Here are all the bags waiting to go to the library book sale:
Now the trick is to not buy any more!