If there’s something that a lot of minimalists find hard to let go of, it’s books. I’ve encountered a lot of blog entries and comments from minimalists and wannabe minimalists about finding it hard to part with their books, no matter how small their collection is.
And I just found out that I am one of them, too.
I guess it’s hard to say bye to books because they are “deeper” and more “poetic,” unlike other items that are perceived to be shallow, such as accessories that go out of style or gadgets that you can sell when a newer, better version is released. Books = intelligence, and I guess there are some people out there who’d feel like they’re less intelligent if they’d part ways with their books.
Books are also nice items to pass down to future kids, so some people hold on to them and save them for those little ones. Doesn’t even matter if they’d be all smelly and crumbly and not-so-readable by that time.
I collect both books and magazines.
My book collection isn’t that impressive; it’s composed of some favorites during my teen (angst-ridden) years; compilations of essays I wish I wrote myself; never-heard-of’s that I want to pattern some book projects after; and beautifully illustrated children’s books that adults can definitely enjoy, too.
My magazine collection is bigger, and even more important than my book collection, I have to admit. I have stacks of Nylon, Nylon Guys, Flaunt, Real Simple, Domino, Body + Soul, Whole Living, and Details, plus some obscure, short-lived ones, or unheard-of’s from other countries. I also have multiple copies of issues with my stories in it.
OMG talking about them now excites me so much. I really have to write about my magazines in another post.
Anyway, ever since I started my minimalist journey a couple of months ago, I’ve been letting go of some stuff—I really wanna sell them, but so far, I’ve just been giving them away to anyone who’s interested.
When I went through my magazine and book collections a couple of weeks ago, I wasn’t successful in letting go of all—or even at least half—of them. I think I gave away just 10 magazines. I didn’t even part ways with any of my books.
So last week, I gave it another shot. And I actually did better. I got to choose 45 magazines that I am ready to pass on to the library or anyone; they’re still on my shelf, but I’m just waiting for Yayadoll to help me dispose of them.
I also got to choose some books I’m finally saying goodbye to. It was very challenging, actually, because some of them were from special people, or reminded me of a certain special time in my life, or made me want to read them again--some other time.
Like Be Your Own Best Friend by Louis Proto. This was a gift from my mom when I was a lonely, angst-ridden teenager, and I learned a lot from it. It made me feel better about a lot of things.
And Clive Barker’s Cabal. I was such a huge fan of Clive; I still am. I’m letting go of this paperback, but I am not ready to let go of my Clive hardbounds.
And The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. I love the movie because of Jude Law, but I love the novel because of Tom. I remember saving up for this book and feeling so fulfilled when I finally had it in my hands. The mother of my daughter, who hates reading, read this when she was pregnant with Sadako.
And A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. This was another gift from my mom—a Christmas gift for me and my siblings in 1995.
And Twisted 9 by Jessica Zafra, which I read in just one sitting.
And Channeling: How to Reach Out to Your Spirit Guides by Kathryn Ridall, something I bought in 1997 and read again and again and again.
I still have a bunch of books I’m not ready to let go of, but I hope I’ll be ready very, very soon. After all, I’ve read them already (at least once), and they most probably have digital versions anyway (in case I really want to read them again).
The magazines are a different case, however. They really are challenging the minimalist in me.
Good luck to me.