Do these books make me look smart?
I know what you are thinking…what a well read young woman!! She has a complete grasp of American history, including religions and war. Her knowledge of civilizations throughout the world is vast and she has a special interest in woman’s rights and social justice. She is so down to earth that young adult fiction is not below her. That is what you are thinking, right? RIGHT?
Ok, so maybe not. The truth is, I haven’t read all of these books. Some are left over text books “just in case” I teach an elective on the Shaker Religion in America or revolutions in Africa. But we all know that teaching ship has sailed. Some of these books are books I want to have read. I’d love to say I’ve read Gloria Steinman, but I haven’t. The book travels with me from place to place, hoping to be read. Many books are gifts, because what else do you get a social studies teacher but a book about Ben Franklin and 17 different coffee table books filled with Time Life photos? Some of these books have transformed me. I always think that I will read these again to delve deeper into the author’s meanings or perhaps relive the meaning they had for me at the time. But the reality is that I think books find you when you need them and our time together has past. It is just so hard to break up with a good book, you know?
I have to ask myself why I keep these books. The truth is, it is to look smart. It is because I think “someone like me” would have a lot of books. But the clutter of these books are heavy both physically and emotionally. I calculated it on google maps and these books have traveled 570 miles with me over a 7 year time frame. I look at them and think about how smart I used to be. How passionate I was about one issue or another. How much expendable income I must have had. Sometimes I feel like less of a person for not being as “booky” as I used to be. But then I look at all different ways I am learning each day, how access to the internet has grown in the past 7 years, and how so much information can be stored on this…
In an attempt to de-clutter my life, these books are being sold. I’ve listed them on Amazon and in just two days I’ve sold 10. Hopefully, they are off to find the person who needs them next. If I really need them again, I can always buy them on Kindle : )
What are some things that you hold on to? For what reasons? Is it time for it to go?