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The Weight of Words


Moving is a great time to take stock of how much stuff we have; the legacy we carry with us in boxes of all sizes, emerging from corners and cupboards until they mount beyond what you ever imagined you owned.

I've always been proud of the fact that I don’t hold onto much.  Every time I rid myself of clothes I don’t wear I pat myself on the back feeling not only lighter, but generous too. Ha.

Until I moved.

Apparently my biggest pitfall is books. In fact, I may actually have every schoolbook since grade school. I blame that on my mother. Seriously. But every book thereafter? Well, let’s just say that I discovered travel guides I'd forgotton I've used, beautiful photography coffee table books, cookbooks I've never used, and many interesting novels I’ve read over the years.

A move asks us to confront this and decide what stays and what goes and the answer isn't a simple one. My generation straddles two eras, the paper and the digital. This means that we still see the value in hard copy books as they were originally “meant to be”, while also appreciating the convenience and portability of digital books.

So, what to do? I will find my peace with this little conundrum by buying a bookcase for my new place and showing off my favourites. I have more space now after all and can more easily enjoy them. I will also however, use the opportunity to give away those I am not as attached to. Speaking of which, I've long since thrown away all my Lance Armstrong books, so that's lightened the load too.

But now I have to go. I have to read a guidebook for Japan I didn’t know I had.

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