Monday, June 25, 2012

Moving With Books

Don’t. Leave them behind. Sell them. Give them away. But don’t move with them. Especially don’t ask your friends and relatives to help you move them. That is, if you want to continue to have friends and relatives. If you don’t want to spend the rest of your life as a hermit. (Of course, you could get a lot of reading done.)

If you insist on moving with books, do it yourself. The whole operation — packing the boxes, loading the boxes in the van, unloading the boxes from the van, unpacking the boxes, putting the books on the shelves. That is the only safe way to avoid being shunned, dropped, avoided, sued for back injuries, etc.

Recently we closed up our New York apartment and moved all our stuff to Philadelphia. I don’t know how we managed to crowd so much stuff into two rooms. Of course, the “stuff” was mostly MY books. Five bookcases full. I put a lot down in the Laundry Room for anyone to take. But that didn’t even make a dent in the amount. We still have to make one more car trip back to New York to collect the BIG books — the ones that wouldn’t fit in the boxes.

Now the Philadelphia house resembles a book warehouse, because it was full of books before we moved the new ones in. I can barely squeeze between the boxes to reach our bed. And I don’t know how much longer I can sleep with a box of books for a pillow. It will take us weeks to unpack and get things back to normal. Normal? What’s that? Oh, yeah, taking books out of the library and then returning them.

I could open a used bookstore tomorrow, if I so desired. The trouble is — I’d rather read than sell them. My fate is sealed. I’m an incurable bookaholic.

Future generations won’t have this problem. When they move, they’ll just tuck their Kindle or Nook or Whatever, under their arm and their library will be ready to go on moving day. They won’t even have to dust their precious volumes.

Robin Hathaway


  1. Robin, you might talk to Marge to share the woes of moving and especially re books! Good luck! Have you thought of taking the whole load to a city park and dumping them - just think what a gift that would be for the unwashed masses!! Think how much you could do for the general population's IQ raising! tjs

  2. Yeah, but there was no choice, never a choice! I have given loads to 3 used bookstores in Albany or its environs (Imagine how hard it is to find 3 used bookstores anywhere?).
    And they just keep coming, the books; from where I just don't know.

  3. God knows it's a pain trying to live with books. And, yes, where do they come from? I swear they multiply in the dark recesses of my bookshelves. Steamy and dusty, my book collection has begun to resemble an evil obsession. I can no more resist an interesting tattered old paper back with a curious title than I can a gooey piece of chocolate cake.

  4. That's it, Margaret. Book are chocolate cake for the mind!

  5. Robin, when David and I last moved, circumstances forced us to move into our apartment while it was under renovation. Our unpacked possessions cluttered half our space. To give ourselves a plausible bed, we lined up fifteen boxes of books and put our mattress down on them. We made night tables of stacked boxes of books and pushed eight more boxes together and covered them with a cloth. Voila! The dining table. The precious volumes now occupy every room. My hope is I'll never have to move again. I don't think I could manage to move them, but, I couldn't live without them.