Years ago I moved and I carried with me more boxes of books than clothes. This was before the eBook revolution and I had to make the difficult decision of selling some. I had to get rid of them in order to travel lighter and to be able to stock them in my new home. Space in the Bay Area is not ample, so the decision was already made for me.
It took me months to decide which books had to go. Of course, I was going to sell them in Berkley second-hand bookstores where there was still demand for good used books. Now sadly, most of those bookstores have closed.
When I finally made the decision of what books to toss and which to keep on my bookshelves, I made about $400 the sale. Yes, they were good books people still wanted to read and most where classics which students would be reading at the university which made them even more valuable.
How did I decide which to keep? I kept those I could read again, the one’s that were given to me as a gift, the ones that had changed my life in some way, and the ones that reminded me of a certain time in my life.
You see, books are like clothes but even more valuable. Once we read them they become a little part of us. The authors, dead or alive, have made a home in our souls. I admire them on my bookshelf often and while I know that to people they are just a collection of odd books, to me they are a story within a story and they are part of who I am.
Bookshelves are the albums of our lives that few other than us can understand. They are the structure and sometimes backbone of our stories.
For this reason, I believe we should all have our private collection of books, real books, to showcase the things we that interest us, the things that have mattered to us throughout our lives.