22 April 2006

Spring Cleaning

So I'm moving in about a month and a half, to parts currently unknown, which means it's time to go over the ol' book collection. I made the probably unwise decision in September to try and consolidate my "can't live without 'em" books here on the East Coast, as opposed to in my childhood bedroom, but the upshot is I have way more books than I have bookshelves or boxes. I also mailed myself a ton of books to sell on Amazon.com, most of which I later found out were pretty much unsellable. (Alas, the same vendors that allow me to buy books for $0.01 also thwart my own sales!)

In about half an hour I pulled a whopping 26 books out of this place, most books I've read or used for a class that I really no longer need or want. I was originally going to send them to the New Orleans Public Library, but they are asking for monetary donations over books, so I think I'll just send them what I would have spent on mailing the books, and put them in the donation box set out by my local bookstore during textbook buy-back season. And as long as I was searching, I found two books to return to my sister, six to lend to my mom (who has lent me umpteen books over the years) and one to lend to my dad (who finally has time to actually read books I recommend to him, like THE TWINS OF TRIBECA). As if I needed another proof of my decadent lifestyle, that's thirty-five books just taking up space chez moi. That's just ridiculous on so many levels.

And that was the easy part! I also have in my room probably upwards of 20 books I've been meaning to read and haven't gotten around to yet. Even if I dropped out of school today, I probably couldn't finish them all before my move-out date. (And I'm not dropping out, so don't worry, Mom and Dad.) But it's ridiculous to cart that many around when not only does the world hold a large number of superlative libraries (like, um, the one three blocks away), but I am also constantly acquiring new books. Heck, I just bought seven or eight books on job hunting and careers (the fabulous life of a college senior) and I don't have space for them. I barely have room for the books I always take with me, foreign-language dictionaries and THIS SIDE OF PARADISE and LOST IN PLACE: GROWING UP ABSURD IN SUBURBIA and the like. My name is Ellen, and I officially have a Book Problem.

And I need a Battle Plan. Because on the other hand, I would like to be a minimalist even though I have stuff trouble. At least I know I have stuff trouble. Maybe I should return or read my library books first, right? And also, delete the document on my desktop called "Library to-do list." I'm not joking. I really do have a problem.

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