I know, I know. That title is quite a handful, so let me explain.
I have mentioned a gazillion times here on my blog, how much of a bookworm I am. Big giant bookworm, yup that’s me. Even my Instagram has pictures of books I am currently reading I love books, period.
But it does get tricky for us booklovers.
Back in the day, I used to spend quite a bit of coinage at Barnes and Noble. Now I wouldn’t drop hundreds of dollars or anything there, but $20 here and there, adds up to a lot. And the #1 thing I used to spend my hard-earned cash on, ever since I read my first book of hers at age 12, was Agatha Christie books. I have been collecting her books since junior high and sometime in my late twenties, I finished putting together my hard-earned collection. I now could proudly say, and with authority, that I owned every single mystery novel that Dame Agatha had written. Yes, I could now say that.
But to whom, exactly? To whom could I say that to?
Sure, I could tell my husband or my dad, or my friends, but then what? Who else needs to know this information?
I mean, let’s be real. Am I really going to be invited to some literary party and while I am there making small talk over martinis (shaken, not stirred), is someone really going to ask me who my favorite mystery author is? And then the moment I just happen to answer Agatha Christie, said person will then ask me if I have every single book of her collection, to which I answer in the affirmative? And then what? Will streamers fall from the ceiling? Will someone had me a trophy that says “Congratulations on Owning Every Single Agatha Christie Book!” Tell her what she’s won, Bob!
You know what I have won? Nothing.
Because here is the honest to God truth.
As much I love Agatha Christie books and her flair for having the most innocent explanation to a convoluted crime, I really don’t like all of her books. I am a huge fan of her writing, but not all of her stories do it for me. And here I am holding on to every single book, even though I don’t like some of them, because…?
Why? Why hold onto books I don’t enjoy reading? Just so I can say that I have all of her books? Really?
“It’s kind of sad how much value I was placing in the heaps of books that I owned. There’s no value in having a room full of books you don’t need, especially when other people can get value from those books” – Joshua Fields Millburn of The Minimalists
This little nugget of wisdom resonated so much with me, I can’t even tell you. I loved my books, truly. But I was placing so much value in actually having these books instead of really enjoying and reading them. I was placing immense value on them and I didn’t even read them all. But someone else could. Someone else could get value from the Agatha Christie books that I didn’t enjoy.
And that’s when I looked at those books differently. I wasn’t getting value from them, but someone else could.
So I took a good hard look at my bookshelf and went through every single title (there are a lot), and really looked at each book. And I asked the same questions. Do I really enjoy this book? Do I consider this a “favorite”? Do I get value out of reading this book? When the answers were no, across the board, the books went into a pile for my husband to sell on Ebay. If there was book that I maybe was unsure about, I left it on my shelf and let the book and its title ruminate around my brain for a while, and 9 times out of 10, I went back to the shelf after thinking about the book, and added it to the pile of books that are going to be sold.
This process has been incredibly cathartic because it’s caused me to look at other items in my house with the same mindset, for example DVD’s and CD’s. There are movies that I may have loved 15 years ago, but now, well it is always on TBS or some other cable channel every weekend, so if I get a hankering to watch it, I am sure all I need to do is turn on the television, and there the movie will be
Same goes for compact discs. Certain ones, yes I am holding onto because they are on heavy rotation in my car and I get value from it, but others? Meh… with the advent of Pandora, Spotify, and the like, I can listen to the song I want to listen to, any time I want. So why hold onto the CD, especially if there are only 2 or 3 songs on the whole disc that I even like?
So items are being sold, and I am feeling lighter.
A weight is being lifted and it is a good feeling.