…Like beach reads, but forever! You know how it’s sort of fun to imagine what books/CDs/TV boxsets you would take with you, if you had to pack up and ship out to a bomb shelter, alien planet, what have you? Well I do. My favourite part of reading runaway books as a kid was imagining what I would pack in my backpack. I would often include a sentimental locket, although I’ve never owned one.
I even read a book once where the protagonist chose something like TWO books to take to the cave she was moving to, in some sort of extreme exercise of self-deprivation, because she wanted to wholeheartedly accept the post-civilization world. If you know what that book was, let me know. Anyway, it struck me as really harsh. She was leaving her house for a cave – she could’ve used some perfectly good technology-free entertainment, no?
When I made the big move here last year, I found the packing process physically painful and more than a little panic-inducing. I couldn’t believe the sheer amount of shit I’d amassed in the seven years I lived in Toronto. And it was definitely all from those seven years, because I moved there for university with nothing but a box and a suitcase and a dream.
But the fun side of packing is that you get to play a slightly easier version of the desert island game. It sucked leaving behind some of my favourite books, but it was also strangely satisfying to see my little mini-library tucked away in its box. Here are the books I deemed worthy of making the trip with me:
I had different reasons for choosing all of these. Some for nostalgic purposes (the Narnia box set has moved with me to Latvia, Poland, and once before to the UK, so I wasn’t about to leave it behind this time), some because they’ve become a recurring part of my reading life (Franny & Zooey, David Sedaris, Robertson Davies), and some because I hadn’t gotten around to reading them yet (Gladwell’s Outliers, The Portrait of a Lady, or still haven’t – cough – Brighton Rock), and I thought I should take a couple fresh ones along as well. I’d also like to add that not all of my favourites are necessarily included here, just because I don’t own all of them. Remember, I’m a tightwad. I may be the only bookworm out there who thinks they should spend more money on books.
Have you ever been forced to cull your book collection? Do you have any books you couldn’t dream of leaving across the ocean?