Reading the World, Reading Myself

Goodbye best friend books!

If you know me, you know I am passionate about books and passionate about cultural consciousness. I just feel we should all be awake, reading the world to learn about ourselves (that’s a Paulo Freire term as you probably know). Recently I began the process of moving and I decided to start with my books.

Before I began to move my books, I referenced The Life Changing Magic Tidying Up  to give me some perspective. The author, Marie Kondo suggests that you hold each book and ask if it brings you joy. If not, toss it. If so, keep it.

Does this book bring me joy? Ack! What a question!

I took my books off the shelf and sat in the middle of them holding them one by one, asking myself, “How does this book make me feel? Does it spark joy?”  I then had to sort my books by genre because I felt like I had to categorize my feelings. Does this book bring me joy in relation to my work? Does this book bring me joy in relation to my spirituality? I went through what felt like thousands of books (but probably only a hundred or so) and was so exhausted by this pursuit it took me about a week to complete. But in the end, I found that I was able to clear six boxes of books. Saying goodbye was hard. So many memories tied up in books. I began to look for a new home for them. I was picky. Where would they go and get love? They were too good to sit and rot in a moldy basement.

That’s how I found The Page Turner in New Jersey. They use the money from their used book sales to fund programs and provide retail and sales experiences for adults with disabilities. They recently had a flood and lost a lot of inventory. When I dropped off six boxes of books they were thrilled.

And so am I. My beloved books, cleared from my shelf, are now providing new opportunities for others. What a joy!


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