I own too much stuff. I am buried in stuff. This weekend I am getting rid of some of my extras. Yesterday I owned 6 couches; now I have 5. I gave away the oldest to a man who is just at the stage of acquiring his household goods. This afternoon I will be giving away my largest bookcase. I still have seven others, not counting shelves and nooks here and there. This is not much, I know, but I once owned around 3,000 books, so this process of purging has been long, slow and painful.
This afternoon's selection means I must part with some beloved friends: Books that have traveled with me since college and through countless moves. It isn't easy. All the art and travel books stay; all fine literature stays; and all my Jane Austen and history books of the era remain. Gone are the "Dutch" books I inherited from a Dutch uncle, gone are the best sellers from previous years. (Does anyone read Michael Crichton any more?), and gone are the ancient books I purchased at book sales. I will take them to an antique book seller.
Parting with books is never easy for me. I am a hoarder and collector. Right now, 15-20 books sit next to my bed waiting to be read. I don't have the time to read them all, but once in a while I'll touch them lovingly promising them some attention later.
My reading habits have changed so much, from newspapers and books in print to collecting almost all of my current information online. Still, there is nothing like curling up on the sofa with my pooch, with soft music playing in the background and reading a good book.
As I pack up my friends I will thank them for the hours of pleasure they gave me. I hope their new owners will feel the same way.