Monday, January 28, 2008

The Difficulties of Cleaning the Bookshelf

I really love books. What can I say? I write that sentence and realize how painfully, painfully nerdy it is, but yet it is completely true. However, at the same time, I look at the bookshelf over-flowing with random literature and the random large piles of books in every corner of my room and realize I can't keep on going like this. Not only is it really annoying to have that many books in your room, I also am keenly aware of the fact that I'll have to move again at some point relatively soon, and I just can not believe I'm going to be willing to carry all of those books.

But now, after having spent a half hour going through the shelves and the floor, I've not even got half a box full of books I can let go of. And most of them are books I got for free when professors were retiring that I wasn't really even interested in to begin with. I just can't seem to let any of them go, even though I fully know I'm being completely ridiculous. The argument with my inner, rational self goes approximately like this:

Will you ever read Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling again? You hardly even read it when you was supposed to for an Intro to Philosophy class 6 years ago! Come on, it's a classic philosophical text! Why not keep it? Besides, it makes you look deep to have high-brow books sitting around.

But what about the obscure Marxist "theory" books that are really just crazy old men arguing historical minutae with one another? Yes, I know, but they're out of print. What if I want to read them someday? Then I won't have them and will forever curse the day I let that gem of a book go.

Ok...but a college textbook? Are you serious? Yeah, but that book changed my life when I was in college! I can't get rid of that! Citizen Kane got rid of Rosebud and look what happened to him! I don't want to die some crazy and embittered William Randolph Hearst stand-in muttering "the sociologically examined life" to myself as I slowly fade away into regret and nothingness.

And there I stand even still. I've got half a box full of books to give away, and several thousand arguments as to why I should never get rid of a single book ever again.

1 comment:

Laura said...

I always sort through my stuff when I'm pissed off because then it is hard to be sentimental.