On the Move

After a few weeks of intense fun in Beijing, I am back in the depths of the English countryside. Strangely enough, it rained the whole time I was away and it is only now something resembling summer has finally reached England. I’m making the most of my country garden that catches the sunlight while I can; in three weeks, I’m moving to central London to live.

 I’m currently sitting in my bedroom surrounded by piles of long-forgotten miscellany, such as tarot cards and almost empty bottles of perfume, with the occasional cardboard box teetering atop a heap of books pulled from the shelves and piled haphazardly on the floor or on top of something else. I have a distinct tendency to randomly throw things into boxes and then stash the boxes away out of sight, and on my journey through my wardrobe today I discovered old scraps of diary entries, neatly torn from school exercise books, mainly discussing boyfriends and horses; old love letters written to me by an enchanting boy I never met because he lived up North; a set of runes in a red velvet bag (when I pulled one out, it was the rune representing journeys); a set of plates and cups decorated with pictures of shoes that I have never used but intend to start using; and a lot more besides. I never throw things away. At university, my room was always awash with paper. Sometimes, when the urge came upon me, I’d pile all the paper into themed stacks – modern Chinese newspaper readings, notes from history lectures, photocopied short stories – but hardly ever filed it away properly, leaving it to gradually work its way across my floor and obscure the carpet until the urge to tidy returned. Unfortunately my room in the house I am moving into is significantly smaller then the room I am currently in, so I have to get rid of quite a lot. Including some books. I’m not especially impressed by this, but I’m only throwing away things like cheap classics that won’t cost a lot to repurchase and books I didn’t enjoy reading or have never read. The actual throwing out process is the hard part; after it is gone, whatever is it, I won’t miss it. This knowledge does not make it easier to part with anything.

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23 Comments

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23 responses to “On the Move

  1. Welcome back! Getting rid of books is always hard but good luck with the move.

  2. Welcome back. You seem a little contemplative about the prospects of moving though. Besides having to move, are you expecting some more changes ahead?

  3. You could always be like me and give away a total of 5 books before moving and then moving in and having to get rid of many, many more in order to have a place to even sit down! hehe I couldn’t bare to part with them and then HAD to.

  4. Yay you are back! Good luck with packing up for your move though. Maybe you could donate your books to a library?

  5. Welcome back booktraveller! It’s a bit of a shame that you return to give away books. Library might be a good idea except that it probably already has your old classics in stock. Hope you find a good solution to such a vexing problem.

  6. Welcome back! I hate moving and wish all the best in yours.

  7. LK

    Welcome back! I agree with a library — if they don’t want ’em, just set the box on the sidewalk. People will take them.

  8. Glad you’re back. It sounds like fun to be moving to London, but I always hate having to pare down belongings. It can be scary, though, to think of all the miscellnea that is accumulated over time. Good luck with your packing.

  9. Or there’s Oxfam, ofcourse, they’ll probably like them, and probably sell them at double what they’re really worth but it’s charity so it doesn’t matter. 🙂 I’m going to have a big problem in June next year when I’m moving to Norway. How does one accumulate so many books in four years when one knows one is only a temporary resident??? And will this knowledge stop me purchasing books in the next year? I don’t think so…

  10. Wow! What an interesting experience…TFS…

  11. At some point my pack-rattery turned into an odd cycle of first hoarding, then trashing stuff. I suppose it balances…

  12. I can never throw books out! It breaks my heart and then I always want them back…

  13. Welcome back! Give us some of the highlights once you’ve settled in. Freecycle and bookmooch are fab for getting rid of things…good luck with the move.

  14. I’m so glad you’re back! I was thinking about you today as I ordered “This Blinding Absence of Light”, by Tahar Ben Jelloun, I remember I first heard about it here.

  15. DJ

    great blog…
    am an avid reader too.. mind if i blogroll u??

  16. aloi

    i’m inviting you to join the bookblogblog … add your blog to the directory of book and reading blogs at bookblogblog.blogspot.com

  17. It’s always hard to thin out your books, but I also think it’s valuable in whittling down the reading material to that which really matters to you. Good luck with your move.

  18. Thanks boys3fdae4312a2d0cdf2564788563fba31b

  19. Books are our Future…

    While studying Computer Engineering at University I came across staggering data and statistics regarding minorities, graduation rates and access to books. In todays high tech media environment, all people, young people especially need to be encouraged to read physical books. When I had my first child I was disappointed at the high price of used books for children in my area. As I searched for a cost effective way to locate books I ran across this company: http://www.booksliquidation.com.
    They offer wholesale prices on boxes to truckloads of used books (by genre) at very reasonable shipping rates throughout the US and abroad. For instance, at less than $50 a family can receive around 100 good condition kids books including shipping. Most books are like new condition and priced lower than books found at Goodwill or any used book store. The price of books is definitely one factor not talked about when promoting reading. Access to quality books at a price anyone can afford will most assuredly eliminate one barrier in regards to young people’s ability to read. Statistics show that the average high-school graduate has(had) a minimum 50 books available to them to read in their homes. Those going on to post elementary education had atleast 100 books in their homes. Books are expensive! Booksliquidation.com is one company that is assisting families in their effort to create a rich at-home reading environment for their children and their personal reference.

  20. JS

    I had a terrible experience with Bookliquidation.com and would recommend anyone to not purchase from them. Their customer service and business ethics were terrible.

  21. I got here through ‘Lotus Reads’ and I’m glad I did! Looking forward to your posts on China, especially Chinese Literature…

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