or what homelessness has taught me.
I’m between homes at the moment. In that I’m in the process of being evicted and have nowhere else to go. So I guess that makes me technically homeless.
I just wanted to share my thoughts on this with regards to possessions.
Possessions are a burden.
I had seen this meme on the internet and always thought that it sounded a bit new age hippyish. However, in light of my current circumstances, I can see a great deal of truth in the statement. The rest of the quote reads, that the reason they are a burden, is that you have to take care of them. To which I would add – yes, but you also can’t take them with you. I mean this spiritually, but also practically. I have accumulated many hundreds of books over the past ten years in my home and I now find that I will have to pay someone to move them, or get rid of them.
Yesterday, a lovely Oxfam volunteer drove away with her car loaded with my surplus books. I probably have the same amount left to take with me to my next home (think positive). Deciding which ones to give up wasn’t altogether simple; some I hadn’t even had chance to read yet; others were classics that I’d read, but reckoned I could pick them up again very cheaply if I desperately needed to, or else borrow from the library. Some were ones I’d kept because I liked the cover, or were anthologies I’d held onto because they had just one short story or poem in them that I really loved. However, I had to be ruthless.
I still have numerous boxes of my favourites, but I realise that even these need to be held onto lightly. To cling to objects is just going to cause you pain. Better perhaps, to see them as things over which you have temporary stewardship.
And the future? Well, the booksellers in my town are going to be seeing less of me. I have some new rules:
Not to buy books on impulse.
Only buy books that are beautiful – otherwise you may as well get them on Kindle.
Go to the library first. Public libraries will order books for you, if they don’t have them. Better to see if it’s a book that you will enjoy and re-read, than waste money on something that will end up going to the charity shop next time you move house.
All the money I’ve spent on books this year, I could have been putting by for a ‘rainy day’. Lesson learned.
However, if you’re rich – buy as many books as you like! Create a huge fuck off library.
I know I would.