Monday, September 5, 2011

Books and Boxes

In a desperate attempt to get ahead on posts for the NaBloPoMo challenge, I thought I'd look at some past prompts to see if any jumped out at me saying "YES! I want to know your thoughts on this!"

I saw this "Do you prefer to own books or borrow them from a friend or the library?" on the list and felt like I had to weigh in.

I love books. My love affair with books can be traced to my early years, when I would demand my mother or father read my favorite childhood book over and over. When I was old enough to participate in the library's summer reading program, I would check out as many books as allowed, read them in a hurry, repeat, time and time again. In junior high, one of my friends and I were obsessed with several series, and when we'd get dropped off to hang at the mall, we would often spend time in the bookstore, reading the latest installment.

About seven years ago, when I moved from a rental house with friends into my first solo apartment, I remember one of the movers saying I was a "good packer" because I had everything in boxes. Apparently a lot of people just put their things in plastic garbage bags? I found this a little surprising, as I had completely procrastinated on my packing and felt like a hot mess, and was also baffled that people just throw things into plastic bags to move? The mover also complimented me on not "loading one full box of books, making it too heavy to lift painlessly." This stuck with me, as my procrastination and marathon packing session the night before the movers arrived made me unable to stand up straight on the day of the move.  I had wacked out my back and paid for it, as my parents were not pleased that I had procrastinated (although I very honestly inherited the trait from both of them) and that I was injured and slow-moving all day.

While I'm not really as much of a gypsy as I should be (currently living in an apartment I have grown to detest, with plans to move in the next two months) in the past seven years I've given up on buying books.  Sure, I've bought some books, but only if they are books that I know I'll want to take notes in or books that will be useful for reference. I've boxed up books and given them to book drives and veteran's hospitals. With all this talk, you'd think I didn't have a single book in my apartment, but I actually possess about five full shelves of books (sigh.) Most of the books are either for teaching, are books I love and can't bear to part with, or books given as gifts.  I love the library like mad and use my card on at least a monthly basis.

I love the look of personal libraries, but I personally decided this was the easiest area for me to minimize, and I wouldn't have to carry as many heavy boxes during my next move.

How about you? Are you a book buyer or a book borrower?

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