Thursday, May 09, 2013

The Hardest Goodbyes

I'm starting to feel a little bit sick.

Packing up my house is proving difficult, stressful and emotional. Packing usually is an unpleasant task, but when you are packing things not knowing where it will be going - but just knowing it must go - the unpleasantness is doubled. Several rooms in the house are half packed, with suitcases containing 'keep' items and boxes and bin bags containing 'sell' or 'charity shop' or 'bin' items (and I don't know which is which at this point), but there are other rooms that haven't been touched... and we've got a moving goal of approximately four weeks now. (Assuming all things go to plan with Scott's visa.)

I decided yesterday that today would be THE day to tackle the hardest room in the house, the study. Or rather the study/guest room/shop/junk room. And in this room-of-all-rooms are my most prized possessions: my books.

I have so many books. Scott has so many books. Together we have so, so many books. I love books, and not just the reading part of it; I love the actual book itself. I'll never be a Kindle person. I love holding the book, smelling the book, remembering moments with the book. Many of my books are the very same copy I held when I read them the first time, in high school or university. Some still have my pathetic class notes in them, obvious and naive comments like 'red imagery' or 'foreshadowing?'. I love this about my books.

But the down side of books? They are heavy. And lots of books together are VERY heavy.

So I've put myself to the task of sorting through them, choosing which ones to take now, which ones to store for later and which ones to sell at our Table Top Sale next weekend.

This is what is making me feel sick.

I don't want to part with any of them! Some I didn't actually enjoy so they can go, and one or two are nothing I'll ever read again, but even some of those are glowing with memories. As I placed my fifteen year old copy of The Canterbury Tales in the 'sell' box, I just couldn't do it. What if I DO decide to read it again? Maybe I'll enjoy it more the next time around. I was so young when I read it (and had never gotten the Britishness of it), maybe I'd laugh at it now. That copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude still has the pressed flower in it from when I mailed it to Scott while we were dating telling him to 'read this book, it will change your life'. I know Anna Karenina is such a thick heavy book, taking up so much space, but it's one of my favourites and ONE DAY I'll get a chance to read it again, when kids are older and I have more spare time. And I've been meaning to read Angela's Ashes and The English for ages and don't want to get rid of them before I've had a chance to.

And these are just the problems I've encountered on one single shelf. I have about twenty more shelves to go.

It feels like saying goodbye to yet even more friends to say goodbye to these books. I've got more than enough sad goodbyes to deal with, without adding these long-time companions to the box.


  1. I soo know how you feel with regards to parting with books, I find it soo hard. I did, well i have seperated a box of books into books i am most certainly keeping and books im thinking about giving away and books im really giving away to charity. this charity pile had loads, now most of tehm have moved into my giving away pile (cause i could possibly ask for these books to be given back once read), and the books that where in that pile have nearly all moved into my keep pile. No onder i dont have any space in my very cramped, cluttered house!
    On that note, i may be able to store a few for you, up my loft, and when you are over for a visit or family go visit you, i can pass them on to u to take.

  2. I guess we are moving at similar times. We are trying to sell our house, and heading from the Northeast to the Midwest of the good old USA. I totally feel your pain. For me, we have to move just as my youngest child graduates high school, from the home we have live din for 18 years, the home of our family life. It will never be the same again. Divesting of all the memories is excruciating. I know now that I can only throw things away for a maximum of two hours in a row. Also, after I make up boxes of stuff to donate, I have to delegate the actual donation, or I chicken out. It is just so very hard.

    Maybe you could leave some of your books in boxes with your in-laws and ask them to send them to you as Christmas gifts in the years to come?


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