While this title could include so many things I decided to add books to the end. I collect books. The free ones that the library is throwing away. The cheapos in the bargain bin. Hand me downs from friends. You leave it out for recycling and I may just take the whole box.
I had always intended to read every single one. I have smut, someone college books, various poetry anthologies, ancient aeronautics textbooks, 1960s sci-fi that has actually come to pass, minus the earthling-alien interaction, which some may debate.
Every book had a place especially at our last station. It fit perfectly in the first spot I chose. When I would have time I knew exactly where I would pick from and then hand it to someone else or recycle it. The problem was with a full time and part time job, countless volunteering positions, a family, friends, and being a military spouse, which truly does deserve its own category, I ran out of time. The books piled up without leaving. Even more came in. My husband joked that the house would go up in flames with no hope if it hit my library first. Especially with the finger paint artwork on the wall.
When the movers came, I was more concerned with the furniture, the dinnerware from my grandmother that was no longer made and considered antique, and maybe my encyclopedias from the 1890s that had passed through generations of my family than the shelves of random books. I eventually came to regret it. While most advice is to go through your stuff and get rid of what you don’t use, when you have 30 days notice to PCS, toss-happy can be addicting and too much to handle with everything else. I suggested that since we didn’t have the usual six months notice, and since we wouldn’t bust the limit, we could just get rid of everything there. I did not realize what a pain that would be or how my priorities would change.
At the new location, I won’t mention that there is no housing where my husband was to work or that the architecture closest was for people who apparently didn’t own furniture or TVs. Aside from the heartbreak when my furniture came ruined but not destroyed, what ended up being a thorn in my side was where to put those stupid books. With the furniture set up in less than ideal patterns, none of the books, either those I was dead set on keeping or the tossers, seemed to fit. Even the keepers in the books shelves weren’t going in right!
For how ridiculous this worry probably sounds, when you are stuck in a house all day long because the one mostly working vehicle is being used by the only one with a job and therefore not left with you, and the unpacking might as well get done, its the little things that will get to you. Like why don’t any of these drawers fit our flatware separator? Why does the slow cooker not fit on any of the shelves in this whole kitchen? What do you mean the bed and only one dresser fit in this master? Where are all of the pens? Why are none of these appliances magnetic and how are we going to put the grocery list on the fridge? What did you do with all the batteries? How did we not notice the only closet in this house is long and narrow and our decoration bins are too wide to fit through the door? This bedroom is too small, the book shelves will have to go in the other one. Move all those boxes back again. Why don’t these books fit perfectly? I just want one room to be done!
So take a breath, I thought. Moving is hard. The books shelves went in a less than ideal spot but I did not want to pull the books down, again, dismantle the shelves, again, and move it all, again. So I separated the tossers into teetering columns and left them to be dealt with while the bedrooms were finalized, priorities first.
When job hunting proved harder than I had anticipated and the rejections came rolling in, I decided it was time to attack the towers of books I had separated out. After I read a tosser the privilege of putting it in the recycle bin fell to the hubby, who was more than happy after having packed and moved all those books DITY a few times.
I was determined that no matter what jobs or volunteering cropped up, those books were not coming with us unless I was absolutely going to reread them. Don’t touch those recipe books, those are off limits!