Purge Anxiety


DON’T MAKE ME THROW AWAY MY BOOKS!!! This is what is going through my head right now as I go through my shelves for the third time slowly getting rid of my papery-wonder-filled friends.

We’re moving to Spain and really can’t take very much over with us. Since we’re not sure if we’re coming back, paying for a storage unit for 6 years only to have our parents get rid of things if we don’t come back doesn’t seem like a good idea. Also, I’ve been trying to tell myself that ‘things’ are not what make a home (but sometimes it feels like it).

Now, I have a lot of book (still) but not nearly as much as dear friend, fellow lover of books, language teacher, and linguist-nerd:  Maggie. That woman has a whole entire wall of her house with floor to ceiling shelves filled with books. If her house burned down I really think she would try to take the shelves out. Or, she would die from smoke inhalation standing in front of her shelves trying to decide which ones she’s going to save. Actually, I wouldn’t put it past her to have already organized a “in case of fire or natural disaster” section with a bag waiting next to it just in case she has to run!

I’m not as bad as Maggie, but my anxiety level is pretty high right now…

Over the past year I have been making mental tallies of the things that we will bring with us and the things that will find new homes. The “to Spain” list gets smaller and smaller as I am adjusting to the idea of getting rid of things that mean something to me.

But the books, THE BOOKS!!! Oh, it breaks my heart! I can’t part with something to which I’ve had such emotional connections!!

I have given books to friends, sold them in a yard sale and sold them at Powell’s. The last time I took a load to Powell’s I ended up getting over $100.00 for my books. I may have something close to that in this next round…

I know that books are books and you can get them anywhere, it’s just that I love them so much!!

So, what are some of the titles that are coming with me?

My favorite!



There of course are some linguistic reference and text books that will come in handy during my PhD studies, a couple cook books and souvenir books and some others that will probably “slip into” the keep pile… But for now, it’s the essentials. I can always get more books later, right?!

For now, I have to think that my collection will be making someone else happy and that they will all go to good homes. Maybe the loss of some of my books to the next owners will induce the same purge anxiety as they have caused me.

Keep changing lives, dear friends. Keep changing lives…

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