The Well Tended Bookshelf

Interesting this piece, not only about the writer's view of tending a bookshelf or collection, but how others view their books.

When I left home, my black foot locker wasn't filled with clothes, but books.

Year after year, it took boxes, trunks, more boxes and crates to transport my books from place to place. Several times books took up entire walls of storage units.

Then one day my entire cellar was flooded. It housed thousands of dollars of photography, 1st editions and art books. It was so depressing that I couldn't do anything until my daughter came and rescued me by taking all these beloved books away--away from my sight and my dismay, or perhaps despair. Not only had I loved these books they were cherished friends.

Since then I've collected fewer books, sold more, given away hundreds, bought more second or fourth hand, used the library with greater regularity and in some way experience a profound sense of freedom, freedom from attachment and lighter.

And it may be time to review those books on my shelves again!

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