Author Linda Grant has written a piece in The Guardian today that’s got me thinking. She’s moving and has to take a lifetime’s worth of books, that have filled every nook and cranny of her current home, and reduce them down to a manageable amount ready to move to her new home. It doesn’t end well.
I went through all the emotions reading this piece: guilt, anger, pity and a whole load of recognition. It’s where I consider myself lucky to have children I suppose. Not necessarily to pass the books onto when I’m gone, but to use those books when I’m around. For them to come and ask me anything from “Mum…who was so-and-so?” and “Have you got anything on…?” to “I’m bored, need something to read but don’t know what” fills me with complete joy when I can just turn to the shelves (or the piles), grab a relevant book and share it with them.
To ever have to do what Grant has fills me with utter dread and I certainly could never cull my books through choice, and I would never move to a place where I just knew I could never fit in my stuff (be it books, figures, or lego). These things are as much a part of me and who I am as my kids are.
It would be akin to selling my soul.