Lightening the Load
By: Julie Day
Man, Spring Fever hit with a vengeance around my house this year! I don’t know what’s gotten into me – normally I’m sentimental and thrifty and therefore hang onto way too much stuff I don’t need (because it might come in handy, say, during an alien invasion or a textile shortage). Not this year – I’ve been going through clothes, shoes, gadgets, widgets, attics, and basements, happily tossing and donating things right and left. Nothing is safe from my critical, spring-feverish eye. But this year, the bug hit deeper than your basic spring cleaning. THIS year, my laser-beam eye turned toward my beloved book collection.
I love books. I’m an avid reader, and my books are like a piece of myself. Over the years, I had unknowingly developed a belief that the proof of my intelligence, the evidence of my wisdom, was firmly tied to the number of books on my shelf. Basically, they make me look smart, and because of this belief, I find it VERY hard to get rid of books, even bad ones.
Not this year. This year, I gave away more than half of my books. I was ruthless. Old, dry college and grad school books? Sayonara. Books I haven’t opened in ten years? Auf wiedersehen. Books in the attic that never got unpacked when I moved? Hasta la vista, baby.
Man, it was hard! Now I know how my plants feel when I give them a rejuvenation pruning. I knew it would be painful, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the huge sense of relief that comes with paring life back to the essentials. It feels light and clean and refreshing. Now, when the aliens invade, I may not be as prepared, but at least I can pack up and run faster.