Books I haven’t read

Before I go on to tell you about the truly insane life I’ve been leading since arriving in Massachusetts, I will veer off into randomland.

Whenever I think about packing, I think about books. All the other junk I haul around with me is just so much..stuff. What’s really important to me are the books. I have packed up and moved my books about…22 times in my adult life (yes, I counted). The books in the first 12 moves were kind of a group, added to and deleted from, then there was a big break and I sort of lost a good many of those books, so the next 10 moves or so started small and then built up again.

Everyone in my immediate family (and most of my gathered family) loves books. In my immediate family, sometimes the acquiring of books superseded the need to read said books, and due to the stationary nature of their lives (1 address in 30 years in stead of 22), the accumulation there is truly amazing.

I’ve always been proud of my ability to purge books – to sell them or give them away as necessary. Although I was in my house for 8 years, I still had the opportunity to purge (as people I loved moved in and out). I was glad to do it, especially since my new method has to do with how easily I can find said book online if necessary. It makes it nearly painless. And the last purge before moving was just that. I knew I’d be moving and I knew I wanted to move as few books as possible.

And yet, today, as I pull books from the shelves I find myself looking at some books and saying, “This wasn’t a very good book in the first place. Why am I carrying it with me?” It was just after one of these moments when I came across a book that I didn’t recognize (which is unusual for me – generally I do read all the books I own – apart from school books – and even those I recognize). It was a hardback, but no slipcover. Even reading the title, Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership, I got nothing. Author? Joseph Jaworski and Peter M. Senge. Still, nothing. I opened the book and found some small writing inside, in pencil in some margins. I don’t recognize the handwriting, either. It first occurred to me that it might be one of my ex’s books – he also bought books he never managed to read and loved a yard sale.

Then I opened it and checked the table of contents and realized it must be one of my dad’s books. This made me smile. Before my dad died, I gave away hundreds of his books to the library at his request. There were hundreds more to be dealt with after he passed and I managed to snag a few for myself despite the opinions of other family members. I’m not completely sure that this was one of his, but I tucked it away in the box on the off chance that it was. Maybe I’ll stay with tradition on this one and never read it.

 

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