Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Lots and Lots of Books

For the last couple of days I have been sorting through books. When I came to California, I had very few with me, but over the almost four years I have been living here, my mom and dad have both sent me a number of boxes of them, and I have purchased piles of them herein. I am awfully sentimental about printed words. Over the years I have forced myself to get rid of novels and nonfiction texts on many occasions, but I still always end up with my bookcases full. I'm a book magnet, a book fetishist, a book collector... whatever you want to call it. There are books I actually need and use regularly (language dictionaries, pedagogy textbooks, other reference texts), novels I have read and loved and can't seem to part with or think I might want to lend to someone else some day, volumes other people have given me that I feel guilty getting rid of even though I haven't read them and they aren't high on my reading list, editions I feel like I should read, paperbacks I am part way through but haven't finished, and books I would really like to read sometime soon (when I get the chance). Additionally, I have tons of sheet music, some that I regularly use with students, some that I have sung and loved and might like to sing again, some that I have never sung but might like to sing someday, some that was written for me or given to me by a composer friend, and some that just feels hard to get rid of since it is classic repertoire, even though neither I nor any of my students will probably ever sing it. I have filled three very large Whole Foods reusable bags with items to take/sell to Green Apple Books. And, I fear at some point I will feel sad at the loss of some of them. Most of what I'm getting rid of are things newly purchased and most of what I think I should keep are the things I have the deepest sentimental attachment to. But, maybe it's time to get rid of more old books. Why hang on so tightly to the past? Sigh...

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