Monday, March 21, 2011

Moving Books

The library at Chatsworth, Derbyshire, England
 In moving from our apartment to our house, we are fortunate that we've had an entire month to move. This means far less stress, not to mention I can unpack at the new house and get things ready instead of having stacks of boxes in every nook and cranny for the next six months.

Yesterday was book moving day. Packing and transporting my book collection is no small feat. As a historian, a writer, and a reader, I have more than my fair share! The majority of my collection contains history books - from the American Revolution to the French Revolution and Napoleon and even the history of Northern Ireland. But my biggest collection by far is on World War II - naturally.

At the new house, hubby put my bookshelves in my new office, unpacked all the boxes of books, stacked them on the floor, and said, "Have at it."

It took me a good hour or more to put them all away. As I went through them, a feeling of warmth and peace washed over me. These books are like old friends. Most of them I've had for years, carting them around to my various homes, and straining the backs of anyone unfortunate enough to help me move! A lot of them have memories associated with them, from where I bought them to a research project or novel I was working on that required their expertise.

Maybe someday when I tire of moving them I'll want to chuck them in favor of a Kindle, but I don't think so. That electronic device will never be able to give me the same warmth and companionship of my books. Sound silly? Maybe it is. But as a writer, I realize all the work that went into each one of those books, and I can't stand the thought of tossing them just for the "convenience" of not having to move them anymore!

What's your book collection like? Have you pared it down to just a few favorites, or are you like me and have a plethora of volumes - and memories - at your beck and call?


  1. Yay on having ample time to move! On the book scene, I'm not overwhelmed, but could probably do a bit of weeding. :)

  2. My collection is not that large, and my favorite part of it is a collection of old, illustrated classic novels. I love the images the publishers used to bring that visual layer to the story, they're very intriguing to look at.

  3. My book collection lives here in the UK as well as in the US. Every time I go across the pond, a few more books make it back with me. Mine is mostly comprised of books written more than seventy years ago. Classics, yes... and historical narratives. The thought of getting rid of any of them in favour of a Kindle actually makes me feel like I'm having a panic attack!!! Possibly a rather bad sign of book collecting addiction. :) By the way, I've visited that library in Chatworth too!

  4. Angie - I actually did manage to weed a few out - I found duplicates! LOL

    Joanne - Those illustrated classic novels sound amazing!

    Erin - I feel a panic attack coming on when I think about moving them all to a Kindle, too! LOL. If I ever moved overseas, I'm not sure I could handle the shipping charges for all those boxes of books... :-)

  5. Books are a true treasure! My husband is always hinting that I should make my contribution to a used bookstore! Not. Happening.

  6. I have pared my book collection down over the years, but I just end up buying more. I don't think I'll ever do a kindle, because I just love looking at my bookcase.

  7. Tamika - LOL! I hear ya!

    Patti - There's something so comforting about a full bookshelf. I'm not sure what it is...but I love it, too!

  8. I've pared mine down long ago. I really love books and wish I had libraries I could fill but alas reality dictates otherwise.

  9. How nice to have time to move in!! I've pared my collection down over the years, by donating novels I knew I really wouldn't read again. I need to go through it a little bit more firmly. I don't get rid of any non-fiction, though. That is always useful.

  10. Wonderful! I understand the other side of the argument for ereaders, but I am much too in love with books as more than just a story to read to give them up. Congrats on the great move time, too!

  11. Mine is about 90% novels, and the rest my textbooks I never sold back. Its probably a fairly large collection given that I just graduated, but nothing compared to yours I'm sure :) Though give it a while and I'll be catching up...

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  12. I could never pare down my books, or my shoes,'m a complete horder! ;-)

    Loving that picture of the library, how fabulous is that?

  13. Tana - Sadly, I think I need to buy more bookshelves! Mine are bursting and I'm to the point where I don't have room anymore. One day, I will have a house that has a room solely dedicated to books. :-)

    DK - I've gotten rid of a lot of novels over the years, but not my nonfiction. You're right - they're always useful!

    Colene - I still don't know if I'll ever get an eReader...I just love paging through the paper in books so much more than on an electronic screen.

    Sarah - I still have books from my undergrad days from 15+ years ago!

    Talei - Oh, how I loved that library at Chatsworth. All those wonderful, big, dusty ol' books.

  14. I love my books and can't imagine being without them. I'd rather lose jewellery than my favourite books.

    I wouldn't mind a library like the one in your photo though. What bliss that would be.

  15. Debs - They just have a way of taking up a big spot in our hearts (and our homes!). :-)

  16. A dedicated library would be heaven on earth. Even if it didn't have a fireplace. :)

    The only serious fight my sweetie and I ever had was about moving my books from TN to OR. (At the time, I kept every book I'd ever read.) He said no way, and he had a point...we didn't have enough room in the truck to move them all. But it took me days to see reason.

    That was when I discovered some bookstores would buy used books. Which gave me money to buy more books. What a revelation! But I still have several dozen books I refuse to be parted from, ever.

  17. Congrats again on the new house!

    I constantly weed our books down, but I still have a tall bookshelf full. Some I'll never part with, others I donate each year, but I'm with you--they're a part of me.

  18. Christine - Haha! I love that you sold books to buy more. That's my kind of girl! ;-) I'm glad my hubby doesn't see a thing wrong with all my books. My shoes and clothes, on the other hand... ;-)

    Jill - I can weed out fiction far easier than non-fiction. In fact, I have a whole bag of novels to give away. It's those history books I can't seem to part with!

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