1.25.2015

Object Permanence Project, Week Two

This week, rather like last week, my loved and appreciated object is a collection. This week's "object" is my library.

My library, circa May 2014




That's a lot of books. I counted the books on these shelves (plus my shelf next to my reading nook upstairs) and it came to about 600 books, not counting cookbooks, field guides, textbooks, A.'s picture books, or books that belong only to R. (my husband).

Despite my interest in minimalism, I am okay with this. More than okay with that. I love it. I feel no guilt or need to downsize. I love having a library. I love being able to wander downstairs whenever I think "oh what was that passage?" and easily look it up. (Remember Friday's Franny and Zooey post, when I was reminded of Thomas Merton and tried to look it up then couldn't because I'd lent out the book? I reach for my books like that all the time.)

This project isn't really about minimalism qua minimalism. It's about paying attention to what brings me joy, and what doesn't.

That said, I am constantly culling and adding to refine my library and make sure it continues to work for me. This week has been a culling week.

I am pleased with the Volume of Book I currently own and I don't want to overflow. (Much. Okay, I overflow a little. But besides A's picture books and cookbooks, it all fits here. And I want to keep it that way.) As I happen to have just ordered 24 books from BWB (see Wednesday's post here), I need to make room. That brings us to…


Objects I am letting go of:

A dozen culls from my library.


Several of these are duplicates: A Near Sympathy by Michael Birkel, Wuthering Heights, and the complete poetry and selected prose of John Donne (fourth from right) are all duplicate copies of work I own in other forms.

Some are read books that I decided I don't need my own copy of: Ambulance Girl, Blink, The Tipping Point, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Jude the Obscure, and the two Tamora Pierce "Protector of the Small" books fall into that category.

Some are books I just couldn't get into and wasn't invested in enough to try to continue. Thud (sorry, Terry Pratchett fans) and Perfume fall into this category.

All of these books, plus the two books I culled last week and are still in my mudroom waiting to go out (Foucault's Pendulum and The Peaceable Kingdom, both read books I decided I didn't want to own) are available for the asking, if you so desire. Email me.

In addition, I am letting go of…

A scarf. It is lovely and warm and it was a gift from work (when I worked in Hospice) but I have many scarves and I rarely wear this one. Also it has sequins, which is not my jam.

A Neti pot. What was I thinking? I do have chronic congestion but I will never regularly flush my nose out with saline. I just won't. It is not a thing I will do.

That's all for this week. Object Permanence will return again next Sunday.