One of my childhood dreams was to grow up and become a librarian, spending all my days in the card catalogs and filling up book shelves all around me.
I joyously devour any non-fiction book, but then I don’t let it go. I add it to my bookshelf and think I’ll read it again.
If it’s a cookbook, I always daydream that I will make all the recipes that catch my eye.
If it’s a quilting book, I tab and flag all the patterns I want to try.
There’s just one catch.
I don’t follow directions.
Since I don’t follow directions, I rarely follow recipes in my cookbooks.
Also, I never finish a quilt based on a pattern written in a book. Instead I stare at the color combinations and shapes. If I make a quilt, I usually just wing it or make a pattern myself.
I never did become a librarian, but I certainly have filled way too many bookshelves (and boxes) with books.
I’m actually scared to know just how much money I’ve spent on books in the course of my lifetime. Really scared.
As my kids have grown up, I’ve found myself wanting to downsize and find a smaller home. I’d love something 1,200 square feet or less.
Less to take care of.
Less to dust.
Mostly, I want less stairs and less stuff, and I’m really not thrilled with the idea of packing up all the stuff in my house and moving.
I’m not the biggest fan of manual labor anymore (if I ever was).
Letting go of some of my books has been hard, because my world sort of revolves around my books.
That might sound peculiar, but I start and end my days reading.
I’d rather go to a book store than any other store (well, okay, maybe I go to the fabric store a lot, too).
I enjoy rereading my favorite books.
I like daydreaming about redecorating or quilting.
I’ve had some books I’ve packed and hauled through countless moves since I started college. Doesn’t everyone haul around books about Winnie the Pooh written in German? That might be a situation unique to me.
But honestly, it is really time for me to admit that I don’t need to fill bookshelves or boxes.
My bedside table probably doesn’t need 11 books on it and at least another two stacks nearby ready to grab and read (and a whole basket of books underneath it).
It’s just too much sometimes.
Besides it is hardly likely, that this far into life, an internal switch will flip and I will become a recipe- or pattern-following type person. I know you aren’t supposed to say “always” and “never,” but I am never going to be that person that gathers all the supplies and ingredients and follows the directions spot on. It just isn’t ever going to happen, and I am 100% okay with that.
I’ve spent the last couple weeks letting go of lots of my books, and still have hundreds to go.
I’m honestly looking forward to seeing some shelves empty out and have a little less visual clutter. Mostly, I’m happy to see them go because the book boxes are always the heaviest when it comes time to move.
Despite my decluttering and book purging efforts, Pu Der Bär isn’t going anywhere. That book will probably be packed and hauled a couple more times in my lifetime, even if I never bother to try read it again.
Do you like to hang onto your books like they are old friends, or does your library card get a workout?