Saying Goodbye to Books

The brutal work of downsizing

I’m not a hoarder. I’m not a clean a freak either. I’m somewhere in between, I suppose. What I definitely am though, is a softie sentimentalist. This week begins a necessary purge of my offices and studio.

Anyone who is a creative has tons of little tchotchkes (like my Jesus fish tambourine, hula dancers, my lil’ sound machine from Forever 21, etc.) and I have already drawn a line in the sand, these will not go. These are visual cues of fun, they provide inspiration; and while that may not be measurable, I know it’s important.

Downsizing is important, a clean workspace is important. Frankly, I know there’s studies on both sides of the clutter argument – all I know is that it bugs me, and that’s not good. So, shit has to go.

File consolidation is easy. Digitization, no problem. All of these pieces of paper and cords have suitable places to be. Software backups, numerous conference bags, furniture, those 4 printers, multiple laptops, old instruments and mics — craigslist is a calling!

But what about these books? I know for sure that I’m not going to re-read them any time soon. I am a voracious reader, but have little nostalgia for reruns. As much as I am a digital native and read constantly, I am a still a bibliophile, and love the feel, smell of a good book.

I know, I know, I could just replace them with digital files on kindle or PDFs. Surely, they are all on Amazon by now, right? But it is not the same. The smell, the feel, the weight; none of these can be replaced. And I am no luddite, I do have ebooks, they’re just not the same. I know it would be much better to have access to these wonderful tomes anywhere at anytime.

And yet, all of these books are pleading with me, “Not me, don’t let me go! Someday, you’ll want my company.” They scream in silence, “Touch me, leaf through me, make notes, hold me, take me to the beach!” I’m weak, too weak to relent.