Awash in books

Since my last post, our house has sold and H. has retired and we’ve officially dissolved his drywall company, incorporated thirty-nine years ago, and we’re culling and making decisions about our possessions. The plan is to spend the summer with our children in Toronto, then settle in B.C.

The last week or so, I’ve been awash in books. I commend to you the article “On the Heartbreaking Difficulty of Getting Rid of Books” by Summer Brennan, not because my process has been that heartbreaking–surprising to me, actually, when I finally got down to it–but because of the lovely words she uses for what books are: “incantations, summoning spells” and “a spark, a balm, a letter from home” and “the rabbit hole, the wardrobe, the doorway between worlds.”

The sorting involved lots of memories and gratitude and wishes for future reading and re-reading. I chose about 170 books to take along. What to do with the rest? Besides donating, I had this bright idea to invite my book club and other friends to come by for a sale-and-tea event I called “Dora’s Used Books Emporium, 2 days only” which has been fun. And interesting. If they get to see what I’ve accumulated, I get to see what they will accumulate. Attractions and reasons are always interesting.

So, not heartbreaking, but the other evening when the first of the books left the place, I experienced a pang, and part of it was over the books themselves, and some over the fact that I didn’t have–now–those particular books to display. I went for a walk and stared at this pride which had startled me with its unattractiveness. I think I sorted it out. Conversations and tea and books leaving in the good hands of reader friends have followed, pang-free.

Though it’s some kind of optical illusion, I think, the tables don’t seem to be looking that much emptier. A number are finding their way out of the emporium onto my piles for taking along. Make that 170, then, and counting.


Dora’s Used Books Emporium