I was talking to my friend Chris the other night, about culling books and about how hard it was sometimes to let certain books go, even though I would likely never read them again, and if I wanted to, they weren't hard to replace in this age of Amazon and e-books. I guess I always feel that I'm in some way betraying an earlier version of myself. As if I'm saying that the stuff that was once so important to that long ago me doesn't matter anymore.
When I moved nine years ago I got rid of a lot of books. And in the
time that I've been in my new place, there are many books that I brought
along that have remained untouched. Most are on subjects that no longer
interest me. I have let some of the things go. I got rid of twenty or
so books on Jack the Ripper a couple of years back. Ditto a big bunch of
forensics and true crime books. I just don't study that sort of thing
these days and I'm not writing that kind of stories much anymore. Not
only that, but forensic science has advanced so much in the past decade
that most of those books weren't of much use anymore.
Today I've been culling and packing books again for donating to the
Friends of the Library sale. Some fiction, some non-fiction. And again I
have that slightly melancholy feeling of letting some past version of myself down. But I'm not that guy anymore. No point in hanging on to his stuff.