Monday, March 19, 2012

Packing Books

Stephen and I were both huge book lovers. He was a priest without his own house so I would be moving back to my roots. Old rectories tend to be huge because they had to accommodate however many clergy kids would arrive with the new priest. I like getting books at the used book sales sponsored by community organizations. Stephen liked used books stores and book sales at universities where retired clergy would bring boxes of books from their personal libraries. He bought history, theology and how to do an art or craft. I would held toward music books, health books, anything on how to organize your life.

I'm not sure what the ratio is - maybe 1 book can move out of every 10 or perhaps 1 out of every 15 or 20. I'm thinking 3 tall bookcases with a few milk crates.

Some part of me thinks that if I get the book choices right, everything else about my future will fall into place. The ratio of kept books from my library and kept books from Stephen's library always come out 1:1 no matter how many times I sort the books. Back when we were in high school, the textbooks ended with World War II. Stephen had a fascination with German and Swiss theologians writing during the two great wars. They are moving to the farm. I didn't bring his history collection of war books. But I did decide to bring historians who wrote multi-volume series on the rise and fall of civilizations.

So what did I keep - books for sharing with grandchildren, survey books of English literature and poetry, music books, lots of books on word usage, and how-to books. Dictionaries received a shelf on each of our his/her bookcases - one in the theological bookcase and one in the General Arts bookcase. Perhaps finding the right word is as important as finding the right book.

So in the end what did I choose to move: the reference section of our libraries. I want the books that you go to when looking for an answer - the books you pull off the shelf on a regular basis. I just remembered that I have a book called Total Breathing. Maybe that's the most important "how to" book - how to breathe both consciously and unconsciously for the benefit of both mind and body. Stephen did 4 rapid snores and stopped breathing. Life is breath. So many little things take your breath away but like the song says, "Breathe, just breathe".

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