“To put your things in order means to put your past in order too.”
I’m heavy. Weighed down. I’m surrounded by things that I don’t know what to do with and deepest consideration is being given to storage solutions.
I’ve written before about the melancholia of stuff. But I’ve failed to transfer thought processes into action, again. The struggle seems silly, this is the result of my choices and sheer fortune of having the means to accumulate such an amount of things. The weight of it, however, is crushing me now. I’m looking at it all and I don’t know where to start.
I’m not alone though – the need to shake off stuff is now the thing. Clearing out is the new hoarding – ironically with ranges of books and yet more stuff pushed out into the market place to address it. I’ve seen Marie Kondo, she seems lovely and of light, but I’m without the energy to put things in their place all at once. There is so much I don’t understand about the things I hold on to that to sort it all would be too exhausting to do it all together.
I need to think about how to approach this – the books, which as a collective I love, are far too abundant and I’m looking at some of the titles with confusion. Why do I have this? A question which runs through my mind on far too many occasions. I have books, it seems, for the mere fact of existence and perhaps without having ever been read or appreciated for their content. I hold onto them, regardless of attachment. How can one be attached to a volume you’ve hardly opened, never mind read.
Reviews are needed and they’re coming.
2 thoughts on “Why do I have this? (Reviews of things I already own)”
I think books are profoundly aspirational. They chart the trajectory of the person you want to be, and the people you have wanted to be in the past. To give away a book unread is to acknowledge a small death of potential, a turning wrongly made in the past or a dream demanded. I have noticed that I go through series of fierce and passionate enthusiasms, generally lasting about three years. My latest is painting – before that there was learning Italian, children’s literature, Doctor Who fan fiction and the exploration of Mars. It’s hard for me to write that; some of it sounds embarrassingly trivial now. But at the time, each occupied my whole being. Acknowledging those times are over can be a tough ask. I like to think a small part of me will have another crack at Italian, that I will rewatch those David Tennant and Billie Piper DVDs that once meant so much to me, that I will return to the shelf of scholarly editions of Shakespeare plays that marked my MA. They were all really good experiences at the time. And I haven’t quite figured out if I can bear to let them go. Do I fear, deep down, that those loves of the past will cease to exist if I am not surrounded by physical reminders of them? Perhaps at the heart of it all is fear of my own mortality, and the instinctive wish to leave something concrete behind.
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Nowadays I only keep books which I *know* I will comeback to. If I have it as an ebook and love it, I then buy the actual book. Weird behaviour I know.
I gave thousands away a few years ago which felt odd at the time but ultimately was quite freeing. I also have a ridiculous amount on my Kindle.