I veered off to related topics on recent posts and haven’t mentioned things I’ve been able to get rid of – er, find homes for.
It’s always a pleasure to sort books, and from April through June I brought up four more of Bob’s book-boxes from the basement and went through them, as well as the residual stacks of books from my failed eBay experiment. There are only five boxes left now, and I’ve decided to save them until I make some room. Mind you that’s just the books, there are plenty of other boxes left in the basement.
Above is my shelf of the non-fiction books I’ve listed on Amazon.com. I have just as many more on other shelves that are fiction — see why I’m not unpacking any more boxes for a while?
Here are some close-ups for title reading purposes…
Some more favorites:
The Gentle Art of Mathematics
The Computation of Orbits
The 5-minute Guaranteed Ukelele Course (what?)
The Large Scale Structure of Space Time (sold in 3 weeks)
The Bawdy and the Naughty (that’s “Lewd Limericks, Pungent Parodies, Rowdy Repartee, Worldly Wisecracks,” and more)
Practical Poultry Management (wait, what again?)
In the April-June books, I found over a hundred to list for sale on Amazon and gave dozens to friends (thank you friends). Meanwhile, I perfected the art of asking people what they’d like. Now I stack the books, photograph them, and email visual lists of what’s available. As for the rest, I gave bags full to my Library and to Goodwill.
I have to admit I’m reluctant to finish unpacking books – a task much cleaner and more intellectually stimulating than, say, cleaning out the garage (still in progress). It’s also more personal. When I unpack a box of Bob’s books I see things he packed away before we even moved here, yet they’re things that were important to him to keep. And they’re not just things, they’re books, which means to me they hold a kind of magic. Poetry, fiction, dense philosophy, complicated mathematical theories, bawdy limericks, it doesn’t matter: each one opens a little window of insight.
Since Bob’s death, I’ve sought to know him better through the things he left behind. What we read forms our minds and nurtures our spirits. Could there be a better way to learn about someone than by seeing the books he’s read, and meant to read, and was amused by, inspired by, or instructed by? I don’t think so.
Five more boxes – I’ll try to finish with them by the end of the year. And yes, if/when I’m successful in downsizing, someday my heirs can just donate my e-reader.