Our Reading Lives

The Stages of Moving When You Own a Lot of Books

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In the summer heat of Florida, I moved from a first-floor apartment to a third-floor apartment last month. For a book addict, this is no easy task. Thankfully, I have a car that is a TARDIS and a very strong, patient boyfriend. Here are some thoughts I had during that process.

The books are packed and ready to move! Now, for everything else.

I have a lot of books. The pile of boxes of books is literally bigger than the pile of all my other belongings combined.

Oh my Godiva, I have more books than most normal people have actual possessions. Volumetrically, at least. Probably by weight, too.

Seeing the pile, the boyfriend tells me I have too many books. I tell him his face has too many books. He doesn’t take offense.

On my third trip up the stairs: I have a problem. I have too many books.

On my fourth trip up the stairs: My calves are going to be so shapely after this.

On my fifth trip up the stairs: Do I seriously need all these books? I could take them to a used book store and get some cash for them.

Fifth trip down the stairs: I wouldn’t make it out of the store with that money. I’d just buy more books.

Sixth trip: We’re going to stay here forever, right? Or at least until we can afford to pay movers.

Countless trips later, I’m smiling satisfactorily at all the boxes of books: I wish the bookshelves were here so I could unpack them. Doesn’t matter that I don’t even have the bed ready, yet.

Once the bookshelves are moved, the boyfriend offers to put the books on the shelves for me. Horrified, I tell him he won’t do it right. He doesn’t take offense.

Opening boxes: I’m going to put all the signed ones farthest from the window so they don’t ever get sun on them.

Stacking signed books in piles by author’s last name: How is the H section at least twice as big as the next biggest pile?

Checking to make sure I didn’t mis-stack some: ohhh, it’s the complete collection of books (and some duplicates) by Janice Hardy, Rachel Harris, AJ Hartley, Wendy Higgins, Karen Amanda Hooper, and Ellen Hopkins. I somehow lose thirty minutes flipping through pages of my faves.

Putting books on shelves: Maybe I should put them in ROYGBIV order by spine color. That would look so cool. #bookstagram

Before I can move one book: Just imagining trying to find a particular book gives me anxiety.

To the boyfriend, after he suggests maybe I don’t need some of the duplicates: “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” He doesn’t take offense.

Are these all going to fit? Do I need another bookshelf?

No, they all fit perfectly.

When they are all shelved, I admire the sight for a solid five minutes, take a shelfie (#bookstagram), then realize: I have a big book festival the next week. “Babe, I’m going to need another bookshelf.”

The boyfriend: “You could get rid of some to make room?”

I suggest I could get rid of him to make some room. He doesn’t take offense.

I pluck a book from the shelf and collapse onto the couch, unpacked boxes piled all around me. I’ll take care of the rest later.

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