As I rummaged through my library, sorting which books to keep and which ones to donate (a majority of them), I couldn’t help feeling a bit nostalgic about the thousands of pages surrounding me. Each book meant something at some point, but it hit me now they just represented a past that was no longer there. I held on to books rather than passing that story on to someone else, for it to live in someone else’s imagination.
It hit me that I kept the book to look and feel smarter, that I had a library and that meant I was well read. It held up an image in my head which didn’t need to be there. Who was I trying to impress? Don’t get me wrong, I am holding on to some titles (mostly graphic novels and my collection of South Asian authors) but still it was harder than I expected to let go of decades of reading material. Yet I knew I would never read them ago, and ultimately I could not justify being selfish any longer.
I’d rather share than hoard. Let others experience the same emotions I did rather than keep it locked away. Still, it’s not easy. A part of me wants to hold on to everything, but the reality is that it is time to part ways.