Day One of Weeding 2011:It seems like so much,and yet so little.
Sounds a bit like a parody of a Stephen King novel from 1983. But I took advantage of the relatively free nature of this weekend (no freelance,no visitors,no vacation,beautiful weather) to get started. To clear off the dining room table and start filling it with books to dispose of. And for something that seemed to be so simple at first,this weeding has become more and more difficult as it goes on,especially when I look back at the bookshelves and they still seem to be overflowing.
Intellectually I understand that this should be easy. I’ve made peace with getting rid of a portion of my things. I know from past experiences that I will barely miss these the items that I get rid of;I have had almost no moments of regret from the last few years of culling. I know that if worst comes to worst I can re-acquire things that leave an aching hole in my soul,and that much of the older material will possibly be re-issued in an even better format. And I know the amazing feeling that will come when I walk into a home that,while still full of books,is not aggressively drowning me in four-color art and print.
But oooooooohhhh the anxiety…
Continue reading And so it begins…The Weeding!
The wall of books inside "The Barn of Books"
I think I passed a breaking point last night. Last night I actively hated my library.
Since I decided to get back on the blogging the past week I’ve been trying to figure out what to write. I’ve stop-started several entries,trying to get back to the themes of why I buy things and why I keep them. Or to give you a new photo tour of my current library set-up (which will still come). Or how I plan to get rid of things this time.
Last night I had hoped to spend a little time packing up some Ebay items and then maybe do a little writing. Then I decided to try out this new thing that Amazon has called “Trade-Ins”where they’ll buy your items (books,games,etc) for a small price and give you credit. You get far less then selling them elsewhere,but it seemed like a nice alternative with less stress. Then book after book after book was either not available for trade-in or the price offered was less than a dollar. Suddenly even this method was turning into another dead end.
And that was when the library finally became a massive anchor and dragged my soul to the bottom of the ocean. I was never going to get rid of these books. Not the way I wanted. The way I wanted was to have the world line up outside my door and let me individually hand each person a book that would make them happy and they would thank me while handing me cover price in cash. I need to make as much of a break as possible,and as quickly as possible. When I started this in 2009 I wanted the time to say goodbye to each individual item. That time has passed. I’ve said goodbye when I packed them and unpacked them three times over the past five years. Goodbye.
So I walked away with a decision. Later this month I start the real weeding. I will weed harshly and strongly. I want to empty two to three bookshelves when this is done,maybe more. I will choose a small amount,maybe two small boxes worth,to attempt to sell through channels like Ebay in order to get something resembling a price for them. The rest will go to used bookstores that will pay me very little but take all of them. Anything that isn’t taken will be donated.
And then I’m done. Walk away. And keep any eye out on what is left so that this doesn’t happen again.
We’ll see if I can do this. I don’t 100% trust myself but I know in my heart I’ll feel better.
[This post was also originally written in August of 2010. Things started happening then.]
Another piece to share. British comedian Stewart Lee (brilliant stand-up,director of Jerry Springer:The Opera,interviewer,and comic book fan):“What happens to a man who compulsively collects comics,books,records and CDs? He becomes very good at building shelves…”
The whole thing is worth a read,but here,from the conclusion:
Negotiating my friend Andy’s abandonment of his lifetime of books,and my own deranged tendency to keep everything,as if to prove that I existed,I have set myself a limit to my shelf space– a generous one by the average person’s standards,but a limit nonetheless. Each month I carve out a little more length and unbox a few more treasures. It’s a slow process. But there is a finite point. And the rest must go …But philosophically I remain none the wiser than I did when I first racked my Marvel comics on the wall of my bedroom,aged eight or nine. To paraphrase Larkin:“What are shelves for? Ah,solving that question/brings the priest and the doctor/in their long coats/running over the fields.”
Stewart Lee,“My Life On A Shelf”,Guardian.co.uk,The Observer,August 1,2010
[Well. I wrote this post in August of 2010. Enjoy!]
Another recent find online. “The Ark”,designed by Rintala Eggertsson Architects,was a project for the Victoria &Albert Museum,and is nestled in the stairwell leading to the library the Museum. A two-story, immersive bookcase. Now I know another thing to keep in mind when I build my dream home.
Originally found via www.apartmenttherapy.com/chicago/
More information,and many more photos from the blog Design Boom
And a video of the construction of the project.
Rintala Eggertsson Architects –‘Ark’construction from Architects Build Small Spaces on Vimeo.
It’s the book store and the library on the second floor,so we wanted to connect those two parts of the museum with a book tower so that you could read the continuity from the stored books to the books that are sold and become eventually a part of every people’s life out there.
The tower is a bookcase in itself,the first thing you meet is the white backside of the books and they don’t reveal themselves until you get to the inside where you get the spine of the book. I think it is important for us to show that architecture is not a mystical thing but it’s about putting one stick on top of the other like every small child does in the beginning of their life.
So,ever wonder what an entire apartment of books looks like when it has been taken off the shelf and placed in at least 120 boxes?
I stopped counting at 90 boxes...
Continue reading Here We Go Again:The More Things Change…