Not long ago I donated several boxes of books to the library. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve done this now.
From a collection that once numbered in the thousands, only a couple hundred remain.
A mountain of paperbacks when I moved from a large house in middle-of-nowhere North Carolina to a small apartment just outside of Charlotte.
A full three-quarters of my philosophy books when I called it quits after five years as a philosophy professor.
Still more paperbacks when my wife and I moved in together.
Hundreds more when we later moved into a Manhattan shoebox.
A bag here or there every time I get into the mood to organize.
Books have been a constant throughout my entire life. Saturday afternoons with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a new novel have been staples for as long as I can remember.
As a young academic, I accumulated mountains of books. But lately I've come to realize that while books are as important to me as ever, books are things that it's okay to let go.