Windows into our Souls

"The time of reading is not the world's time, but the soul's." ~Sven Birkerts

“The time of reading is not the world’s time, but the soul’s.”

~Sven Birkerts

B and I have reached a point where we realize that we must make some changes here at home.  Both of us have now been through the process of helping our mothers move out of the family homes and all the difficult letting-go-of-things that entails.  And we are both starting to realize what a huge job it would be for or own children to go through that process with our own home.  So this summer we have made a commitment to really downsize.  And that includes our books…

We’re slowing giving back the things we’ve stored for our children, and passing along the things we’ve saved for when we have grandchildren. We have even started parting with things we’ve held onto all these years for sentimental reasons.  But the books…

August 16th will be our 40th wedding anniversary, and we have collected a lot of books in that amount of time even though we’ve always been good about donating books to the library.  This morning I took photos of some of our bookshelves, both upstairs and downstairs, and even though we made a big purge of books a few weeks ago,  we’ve still got a long way to go yet!  But it’s a beginning, and it’s also an interesting look into our souls.  (Forgive the dust!)

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11 thoughts on “Windows into our Souls

  1. Lois

    You inspire me, Robin. Not another book can be squeezed into my little apartment. When I start to thin them out I think of reasons I can’t part with them. I’m going to follow your example. and try again. Great book shelves.
    LC

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  2. Tara

    Wow – congratulations on 40 years of marriage! I am sure this job of weeding things out will be difficult, but I bet you will be happy with the results.

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  3. Robin Post author

    Thanks, Maree. There’s not much “organization” to it, but we somehow know where to find what we’re looking for. I love looking at people’s bookshelves, too.

    Mom, Jamie is my inspiration right now. She’s been working on an organizing project at her place and has given me lots of
    encouragement.

    Thanks, Tara. This is an interesting process to go through … we’ve discovered that we have to work on it in separate stages because when we go through things together, there’s too many things we decide to save. We can be more “ruthless” on our own… Not as many “are you sure?” questions. Then we make the final decisions together.

    Jemima, it’s hard! And it’s interesting that I seem to be able to let go of my newer books more easily than my older books, even though some are really old and not in great shape.

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  4. Shanra

    Wow! You truly have a large collection of books! It looks like such a large variety of books, too. ^-^

    (And congratulations on the purge a few weeks ago! A start is always good, after all!)

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  5. Bookfool, aka Nancy

    I had to very, very quickly go through my mother’s possessions, last year, because my sister was the executor or her estate and she was in a huge rush to sell the house. It is shocking how much junk we hang onto. We’re slowly working on lightening our load, too, but it’s twice as hard when you had to toss someone else’s things in boxes and bring them home. We didn’t have the room, really, but I didn’t have the time to slowly go through my mother’s stuff so I’m sure there will be plenty that I decide not to hang onto.

    I think I’m rambling. Sorry. Tender subject!

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  6. Robin Post author

    Thanks for the encouragement, Shanra! We’ve got a long ways to go, but if we just keep at it…

    Nancy, I don’t know how that process of going through your mother’s things could be rushed, but it so often is. I’m glad you were able to bring some of it home, to go through it more slowly and thoughtfully. It’s a searing process, even under the best of circumstances. I’m determined to start lightening the load of what we have hung onto.

    Jessica, me too!

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  7. Bookfool, aka Nancy

    Robin, my sister lived just 70 miles from my mother and I live 500 miles away. Being the executor, she had control of everything and she threatened to just sell whatever she didn’t want if I didn’t hurry up and take my share. She could have done so. In fact, she took all of the photos, the family Bible and other memorabilia to her house while I was home. Because my mother had everything in a family trust with our names on it, the executor had free reign — a family trust is the *only* way you can have your assets distributed without going through court.

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  8. Robin Post author

    Nancy, I’m so sorry to hear how things were handled in your situation. It brings out the best and the worst in our families, I’m afraid.

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