libraries of the past

Yesterday we took several boxes and bags full of books, CDs, and DVDs to Hastings and came away with about $140 in cash for objects we no longer intend to keep in front of us. While walking through the store, D. and I had the same sort of impression. “Look at all of these books.” This type of place used to be a haven for me and books were and are precious objects of love. But all of this seemed like an unnecessary remnant of the past. I couldn’t help but imagine all of those books annihilated in the coming years, as everything becomes digitalized.

Of all my hoarding tendencies, collecting books is the worst. I accidentally purchased two copies of the same book from amazon.fr recently – a book no one but me will ever want to read in this part of the United States. I buy books almost compulsively because I need them for my research, I forget to read them, and I refuse to let go of them because I may really need them for my research. No Kindle or iPad can save me, yet. Small French publishing companies are fighting the “good fight” to stay alive and pressing the government to disallow e-books that might put them out of business. Larger companies like FNAC, however, are slowly coming to my rescue, and many Harmattan editions are available digitally.

Still, my books, the physical objects, remain. I am strongly attached to their presence and I refuse to let go. They will comprise the largest part of my moving expenses as I happily accept to sleep on the floor or use a cardboard box as a temporary table. I refuse to live without my personal library.

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