For the Love of Books

I’ve had a long time love affair with books.  Some might rightly call me an addict.  I never counted them, but up until this past year it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say they easily numbered in the thousands.

My husband likes to point out that when he retired from the Navy and we moved our “stuff” across country in a horse trailer from Mississippi to Oregon, the horse trailer weighed in at 14,000 lbs. and at least two/thirds of its contents was taken up by my books.  It’s been fourteen years since then and of course the collection has continued to grow.

As I’ve mentioned in another post, one of our activities this past year involved simplifying, reorganizing, and getting rid of stuff.  Lots of stuff!   The big thrust of this effort was dealt with fairly quickly (over a few weeks time).

Well, the getting rid of stuff part anyway.  Reorganizing our space hasn’t fully happened YET!  That project has been carried over into the New Year.  We are making progress in spurts it seems.

I got rid of boxes and boxes and boxes of books this past summer.  But I still had a small pile of boxes stacked in the garage, and a larger pile stacked in an “extra” room waiting for me to figure out what to do with them. How is it that six months flew by while I pondered or avoided this decision?

These were books I wasn’t willing to just donate to the neighborhood thrift store.  Some were collectible, some were vintage, but not especially collectible (the type that would likely be destined for the landfill or recycling bin), and some were “special” books I just wasn’t ready to fully part with for some mysterious reason.

Today these books finally found loving homes.  Most went to a young family.  But there were still two good size boxes left after she picked through them.  The temptation was strong to just let them sit for another bit.  But I knew how that would turn out.

No, today was the day I had decided to deal with them.

I’d then remembered a neighborhood antique shop where I had seen a section for vintage books, so on a whim I decided to see if I could find a home for some of them there.  I wasn’t expecting the owner would want some of the newer ones.

When I walked in she initially said she still had five boxes waiting to find shelf space so she didn’t know.  I explained I wanted to donate them.  I just wanted to find my books a good home and not have them end up in a landfill somewhere.  So she agreed to have a look.

The store owner nearly fell over when I set the box down on the floor and the book right on the very top was a vintage book of The Yearling.  She had just a week or two ago came very close to purchasing a similar copy of this book so she could read it to her granddaughter.  She reluctantly passed it by because the book was too expensive.  Her own mother had read it to her when she was the same age.  It had become one of her favorite childhood stories and a treasured memory, which she now wanted to share with her granddaughter.

She continued to look through the box and found several more books that she immediately knew other people in her life would love.   One of her customers was excited by the collection of thirty Cobblestone Magazines.

In the end, the shop owner gratefully and enthusiastically took every single book.  She said she would pass them along to family, friends, and customers who would appreciate and love them.

As she got excited about sharing the books with her loved ones I got a bit teary eyed and emotions of joy, gratitude and relief welled up.  These old precious gems would continue to be loved, treasured, appreciated and valued. At least for now they had been spared from the fate of the landfill.   It felt like a small miracle.

I wrote this much of this post yesterday.  At eleven o’clock, when it was past my bedtime, I tucked it to bed in my draft folder so I could sleep on the title for it.

This morning I awoke to another small miracle.

I am participating in Adela Rubio’s 21 day FYE program.  Along with her daily call she posts a short thought for each day.   This morning’s thought ended with this:

As you surrender the need for everything, life paradoxically gifts you with everything. And nothing’s missing and there’s more…~Adela Rubio

Consider how you might activate this miracle in your life.   What stacks of stuff could you release?

3 thoughts on “For the Love of Books

  1. Oh Jan,

    That is so exciting! Reminds me of the the guy who came and took books for his grandson while we were cleaning up after the garage sale, and insisted on paying, even though you told him he could have them for free.
    So, what stacks of stuff could I release? Hmmmm, tons, I know, but I’m not quite ready yet.
    I love you!

  2. Hi Jan… you are inspiring!
    I listened to Marcie Shimoff from one of the interviews sark sent us, maybe week 2 and did the 9 day challenge to get rid of 27 things for 9 days… = 23 things YEA!!!
    it took me a few extra days but Oh that felt good!!!
    Here is a tip for everyone wanting to do the declutter thing….
    If you want to get rid of it but just can’t quite let go…. take a picture of it and let it go!!! Then you will still have the memory in a dust free format and all neatly filed on the computer and it soooooo worked for me… Hope it works for you too.!

    I heard a quote and wanted to share it on your Service page…
    “If you’re dissatisfied with your lot in life, put a service station on it and serve others.”

    Nice to meet you Jan
    Go girl!
    If you don’t like your lot in life, build a service station on it

  3. Hi Jan -
    What a beautiful story! I’m a huge book lover, myself. Amazon is always VERY happy to see me show up on their website! ;) I am so glad to hear that your beautiful book friends found wonderful new homes. This was a timely read, too, as I have hopes of releasing stacks of stuff this weekend! Don’t know how it accumulates so quickly! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today! I just replied to your comment. Have an awesome weekend! :)
    Kim

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