I am sick of books right now.
One of my projects for this weekend was going through bookcases in the basement. They are inexpensive build-it-yourself bookcases that my ex and I built, as it turns out, rather badly. They have developed a more and more pronounced list to the left over the last months, and I fear that left unattended they would utterly collapse in another month.
While it was not the most fun task ahead of me, I also knew it would be relatively cool in the basement during a scorching hot holiday weekend, and there would be worse places to be. No one is home right now but me, as slave drew is at his house in western Kentucky now, building a project. That also meant I could have the kind of upheaval and mess that the project would require without it affecting anyone but me.
So, what I have done in two afternoons is quite a bit.
I went through about six bookcases, six foot ones, with six shelves each, about three feet wide. I also went through a shorter one, one that was about half the size of the rest. I also went through two big boxes of porn that someone from the munches “bequeathed” to me a few years ago, mostly old VHS tapes. I’ve never watched any of them, but I will get rid of them tomorrow, either by giving them away or throwing them away, in any case, to reclaim the space.
I pulled every book off every shelf, as well as the other items that basement bookcases tend to accumulate, including rubber stamps, photo albums, 3.5″ computer disks, files, etc.
I had to move things out from in front of the bookcases, too, so that was part of the project.
I made stacks of books. Cookbooks, gardening, poetry, astrology, dogs and fish, humor, fiction, non-fiction, travel…
I also culled out a lot of books. I’ve never bought much fiction, I tend to borrow that from libraries and not hang on to it. The thing is, I bought non-fiction for reference purposes, but the problem with that now is two-fold. For one thing, often the info starts becoming outdated as soon as it’s published, and now we have this thing called the Internet. Google it.
If I need to know how to prune a wisteria, or who won the most Best Actress Oscars, or the population of Burma, I go there, not to the basement to pull out the reference book. Ergo, let’s get rid of reference books that we haven’t opened in 15 years, about the time, in fact, when DSL became reality.
I have also resigned myself to the fact that I am really not going to read some of those things that looked really interesting or fun and if I really feel compelled, I’ll go to the public library. I think by being more ruthless than I have been in the past, I got rid of at least 40% of the books, maybe more.
So, I got through all the books. They can’t be re-shelved until the bookcases are repaired, which they can be, but not by me, so it will be a few days. I would like to do the same with the bookcases in the living room as well, but it won’t be this season.
Then I put the stacks of rejected books in a box, some paper sacks and about a dozen big heavy canvas bags.
Which I carried up the basement steps.
And to the garage.
And put in my car.
And emtied out of my car at Half-Priced Books, filling two carts full plus about three or four paper grocery bags on top.
Then I had to wait while they went through the books.
The good news is, they gave me $45 for the books, which was about twice what I really expected. I am proud to report that I spent not one cent of my profits on more books. I wasn’t even tempted.
I am sick of books.
(This won’t last more than a week, but in the meantime, I’ll feel quite self-righteous, and that’s worth something.)