Saturday, January 20, 2007

Moving On

I've been culling books again. I think I mentioned that when I moved to Kennesaw I bought six 6' bookshelves and filled them with the hardbacks I'd decided to keep when I left Canton. Over the almost two years I've lived at my apartment, I've slowly gotten rid of about one shelves worth. So I'm down to five shelves full. Basically the move showed me that a lot of stuff I've been hanging onto, I didn't really need or want anymore and I've found more of that as time has passed. I filled a couple of boxes this afternoon, mostly with old paperbacks.
I was also thinking tonight that a couple of my older hobbies may have run their courses. Mainly the collecting of Sherlock Holmes pastiches and Jack the Ripper books. I've barely touched the Holmes collection, which runs to about 300 volumes, in two years and I haven't touched the Ripper books, which run to about twenty volumes, at all.
I've already separated out the dozen or so Holmes books I know I want to keep and I'm going to give it a bit longer and see if I think I can do without the rest, but I suspect I can. Now this doesn't mean that I don't still love Holmes. I'll still be reading Holmes I'm sure. But a major portion of those books were bought purely out of collector mania, simply because they had anything to do with Holmes at all.
As far as the Ripper case goes, I'll probably keep a couple of those books too. The ones that have the best info. The others will probably go before the end of the year. It's not like I haven't already memorized all the pertinent details as it is.
Another interest of mine that seems to be waning is my love for traditional whodunits in the Agatha Christie mode. I haven't really felt like reading any of those since I moved. I've already gotten rid of most of my whodunit paperbacks. More will follow. A lot of this has to do with overall changes in my reading habits and my writing as well. Plots that once seemed clever to me now seem merely contrived. More on that another time.
This will doubtless horrify some of my collector friends, but others will understand. There comes a time to let go of things you're only keeping because you've always had them. Bruce Lee once said, "Once you've used a boat to cross a river, don't carry the boat around on your back for the rest of your life."

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