I've been thinking about why I buy books instead of getting them from the library and trying to explore more about why I have so many books & such a hard time letting go of them.
When I was a kid, we weren't poor but we didn't have much money. I read voraciously from the library and what books we could afford to buy were usually fantasy books in a long series that we'd either be unlikely to find at the library or that I so desperately wanted, that we got them.
Now, I truly wish I'd kept even the most basic journal of titles & authors of the books I read from the library back then because the gap in my knowledge/memory of not being able to remember them all drives me BUGFUCK. I have a real problem with not trusting my memory and desperately wanting/needing tangibles. I've managed to trim that down with regard to traveling: I usually get a really good picture book of the city and a cute knick-knack or scarf and that, along with my guidebooks, is usually enough for me.
But there is so much in a book that it's hard for me to let them go.
Now that we've established that it would be really painful for me to let them go completely, we could consider the next logical step. Let's say that instead of giving them away I were to put them in storage.
The same problem as having them in my house actually applies. I wouldn't know what books I had or exactly where they were. I would still need to inventory them before I put them into the storage space.
The mental burden of not being able to find the books I want to find when I want to find them is starting to outweigh the lack of energy about doing anything about it.
On the plus side, as I'm sorting books hither and thither, I'm getting a much better feel for books that I would be OK with going into storage versus books that I desperately want on my shelves. I'm also figuring out that some books I want on my shelves for themselves, and some because they are anthologies and I want to read more by particular authors in them.
And I'm trying to resist the urge to buy so many books, especially when I can see the evidence with my own eyes that I often fail to read them all. I have managed to re-invoke the pleasure I had as a kid saving up for a specific book or album and then enjoying it thoroughly by forcing myself to plan what book to buy and severely limit myself on spontaneously buying random books that catch my fancy.
I'm hoping that once I record data about them, books I'd be willing to put into storage can be converted to books I'd be willing to sell or even give away.
It's a process and it's under constant reevaluation. Especially with that fuckin' Hoarders
on TV reminding me how close to certifiable I am.
P.S. I agree with Kit, that's a really great pic of you!