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B is for Boxes and Books - Alphabe-Thursday

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The Misadventures of Mrs. B: B is for Boxes and Books - Alphabe-Thursday

Cook. Writer. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Klutz.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

B is for Boxes and Books - Alphabe-Thursday

Boxes and books.

Those two words have been filling my brain for the past several days.

It all started on Monday night, when I walked up to our car at the train station.  Inside was my husband...and 55 boxes which he'd just picked up from U-Haul a few minutes earlier.

"Is someone moving?" I asked with a laugh.  Then I had to fold myself up and slide myself into the car.  Which wasn't easy since the seat was pushed pretty far up in order to accommodate those stupid boxes.  The situation wasn't so funny anymore.  Especially when Rob said "I just hope I don't have to brake suddenly", and I could only assume he was making reference to the fact that my forehead was inches away from the windshield.

Nope.  Not funny anymore.

And even less funny when we then had to unload all those boxes.  Hungry.  Cold.  Tired.  Sigh.

But we got them all in here and after chowing down on some reheated chicken and dumplings, we started packing in earnest.  Prior to the purchase of the boxes we used those we already had on hand - I saved a lot of the boxes that our shower and wedding gifts came in and just repacked their original contents.  Now, though, it was for real.  We had 55 boxes.

Which, after only packing cds, dvds and books, we realized would probably be far too few.  Time will tell on that one.

Rob packed the cds and movies.  I packed books.

Before I go any further, let me explain something in case you're unaware: I love to read.  And I love books.  What's more, I love OWNING books.  I love looking at my shelves and shelves of books and feeling...I don't know.  Accomplished, maybe? I never tried to put a name to the feeling before.  But there's definitely a sense of achievement when you look at books from when you were in your hoity-toity classic literature phase back in the late 90's, sitting next to the Twilight series and Harry Potter, and the hoity-toity historical and biographical books you're currently into.  You feel well-rounded.  Down-to-earth. 

Besides, I've always wanted to have a wall of bookshelves one day.  A small library, perhaps, overlooking my garden.  With a fireplace and a doggie who likes to nap at my feet or a kitty who likes to frolic and play with balls of yarn on the floor as I take an afternoon nap in my chair...

*shakes it off*

Anyway, here's just a small portion of what I was faced with when I sat down and rolled up my sleeves:


See, I was all neat and fine when I had enough room for them.  Eventually the chaos you see before you emerged.  There are books behind the books you see up front.  Stacked neatly.  The ones in front, well, I just kinda shoved them in when I was through with them and no matter how many times I told myself that I needed to sit down and at least make them look nice, it never happened.

So I started separating books into three categories: Books I wanted to keep in the attic, books I wanted to keep where I could lay my hands on them right away, and books to donate to goodwill.

At first this was totally traumatic.  I mean, hello! I love my books! I spent time building a collection which, by the way, included another 4 sets of shelves which went unphotographed.  How could I pick and choose which ones to abandon? It's like deciding which child you don't like and want to give away.  Who does that?

Turns out when you're faced with the proposition of spending yet MORE money on boxes to fill up your already limited attic space, choice becomes much easier.

There ended up being one small group of books which I had to admit I would never finish reading.  Like this one:

That beaut was purchased at some point during the aforementioned classic literature phase of the late 1900's.  And I'm sorry but never did I get more than a few pages into it.  Neither did Rob when he was feeling ambitious enough to give it a whirl.  I finally had to just give it up and admit defeat.  Into the "giveaway pile" it went.

Along with this went some Hemingway and a few others I don't even remember buying, and a couple of diet books (they're in the pictures above - can you spot them?) and some books that Rob didn't want any more.  Plus a few which made me go "eh" when I read them and weren't worth the effort of packing and hauling around.

Here's one I DID read:

I read it so hard, it broke in half.  Actually, I'm pretty certain its massive size caused it to break in half, but I still read it all the same.  I'm kinda proud of that.  Good book, too (and there's my understatement of the evening).

All in all I'd say we're donating between 3 and 4 dozen books.  Could I have left more than probably 3 dozen books behind? Yes, of course.

But I think enough has been asked of me in this endeavor, thankyouverymuch.

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Blogger Maggie B said...

Ever heard of Bookmooch? It's a great way to recycle books, the trouble is I end up mooching more than I ever get rid of!
BTW I have the library that you described and if you're ever in Normandy you are more than welcome grab a book off the shelf, pull a chair up to the fireplace, pet the dog & relax.

January 28, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Blogger Sarah said...

Do you know about the new blog that Jain has created? It's Food for Thought. Go take a look. You might like to participate. Every two weeks individuals post a book review with the theme of a food connection made with the book being reviewed. This Saturday is the second time. You should go see what you think.

January 28, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Blogger Linda said...

Oh I love my books also!! I have so many but I have moved several times this past year and well I ended up getting rid of some. Just too hard to keep them all. I decided quality rather then quantity. of course I still have shelves and shelves of books and I'm always buying more and I probably never have time to read every book I want to still.....they are my books!!!

January 28, 2010 at 10:46 AM

Blogger 5thsister said...

I really enjoyed reading about your love affair with books. Unfortunately I rarely reread books so it isn't difficult for me to glean my shelves on occasion. We then donate those books to the public library. They use them on their sale table as a way to raise funds.

January 28, 2010 at 10:46 AM

Blogger laterg8r said...

my sister is the same way - her books are like members of her family :D

January 28, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Blogger Carol said...

We have a ton of books too....and I dread moving them, if and when we sell this house! I also dread packing up the kitchen, moving the lawn furniture, all the crap in the

January 28, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Blogger Viki said...

Books are my downfall as well. Although I don't have nearly as many as you. You are very brave to get rid of them. I hope to be there some day.

January 28, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Blogger Startup Wife said...

Oh gosh, we are soulmates. I just moved, and the BOOKS were the BANE of my existence. I even left packing them until the end as my 'reward,' because they pack up so nicely, but it completely backfired in my face because it was NOT rewarding. It was the worst. And then what was even worse was actually moving them, because boxes of books are freaking heavy.

But I totally feel you--it's so traumatizing to part with books!

January 28, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Blogger MrsJenB said...

I am going to visit all of your blogs and reply there! I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this!!!

January 28, 2010 at 3:07 PM

Blogger My name is PJ. said...

B is for "Boy do I love Books." I feel your pain. ;)

January 28, 2010 at 3:42 PM

Blogger mbkatc230 said...

I do feel your pain. I did a post awhile back on the number of books in our house - they are truly taking over. There is not room for one more bookcase, and the 8 we have now (and I'm talking floor to ceilin) are overflowing. My brother and his wife took pity on DH and sent me a kindle. I didn't think I'd take to it, but I was so wrong. Now I can limit my hardcover buying to the authors I collect. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Did you know you can store books in storage ottomans and no one will ever know? Kathy

January 28, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Blogger Jenny said...

I, too, feel your pain with this. My husband and I are both book-aholics. We try to clean them out once in awhile but what generally happens is he sorts out a pile and I sort out a pile and then we go through each others pile and put most of them back.


My favorite books, though, are the ones that were his Grandmothers. They are amazing. I have one little cupboard filled with all of them.

Thank you for your beautiful book post!


January 28, 2010 at 6:58 PM

Blogger Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

I hope you packed those books in the small book boxes. There's a reason for those boxes being small...books weigh a ton!

I'm worried about books. I'm afraid in time people will be using those electronic books. What's it called? Is it Kindle or something like that??? Look at what's happening to newspapers. More and more people get their news online and papers are struggling, magazines are folding. Are real books next?

January 28, 2010 at 10:13 PM

Blogger easternsparkle said...

I love books - but I really have to be the forst person to turn the pages, I hate it if my husband gets there first and makes the spine all rough! I only ever read them once but really struggle to move them on when I've finished!!
Great post - thanks for visiting mine!

January 30, 2010 at 2:58 AM

Blogger Jo said...

i feel your pain ...

January 30, 2010 at 10:31 PM

Blogger RNSANE said...

At 65, after having lost my nursing job of 21 years in massive budget cuts in San Francisco, my life and income have gone through radical changes. I am going to have to move and downsize...I, like you, have a lifetime of books...many yet unread. I will give, donate most of them...and keep a few treasures and the unread ones. Mostly now, I do books on tape...since I spend far too much time at the computer!!!

Check out my "B is for Barcelona" - my favorite city in the world - at

Somehow, McLinky didn't work for me!

January 31, 2010 at 8:05 PM


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