Monday, July 21, 2014

The Art of Reading: Moving

All bibliophiles have at least one thing in common: the love of books. Still, as I'm reminded every time I talk to another reader, that doesn't mean we express our affection for the written word in exactly the same way. I'm referring to how we read.

This post’s theme: moving. Sure, some readers attach their devotion more to the elusive story than the physical book, but many of us bibliophiles can also be called book hoarders. If that describes you, what do you do when it comes time to move? Bring every last book? Pare down your collection?

This is a timely post for me. Right now I’m making a big move from Washington to California...with a big book collection. Whenever I move, I trim down my plethora of books. This time I gave a handful to friends, sold dozens to a used bookstore, and donated multiple bags and boxes worth to charities. Despite all that, I still have plenty!

Each time, moving strikes me as chance to see which books are truly exemplary. Whenever I finish a book I decide whether or not I consider it worth saving. My judgment tends to be more generous soon after finishing a story, but years later I might not care about that book as much. I can tell which ones really made an impression on me by which ones never find themselves weeded out.

Feel free to weigh in on the topic of moving with books! Ever had to do it? Too much hassle or worth the effort?


  1. That must be an especially meaningful choice for you regarding which books to keep considering you don't re-read books. Often the decision to keep a book for me revolves around re-readability. If it is a work of fiction and I feel like I might enjoy re-reading it someday (regardless of if that day arrives) then I'm likely to keep it. All bets are off for nonfictional books of course, those are sorted according to criteria that range from how much I adore the subject to whether or not I will refer to the book as a reference.

  2. Exactly. When I keep a book, it's far more about attachment to an object that provided good times and possibly the hope of lending it to friends so we can talk about it.