(From Baa Baa Black Sheep, just in case you thought I was going crazy.)
It was with great satisfaction and not a little ruthlessness that I began a few days ago to yank books off my shelves and pile them into bags. My big double case was overstuffed with every book I've bought or been given from childhood on, and most them, in all likelihood, I will never find time to read again. Ditto for all the movies and TV episodes I taped so carefully on VHS in years past.
So out with the collection of Star Trek books (I saved a few sentimental favorites). Out with all the war books (except everything on prisoners of war in WWII; that's an arcane interest of mine that fills a whole shelf by itself). Out with all the erudite classics I bought for high school and college classes-- I'm glad I was forced to read them once, but if I ever want them again that's what the library is for. And out with the videos of nearly every playoff game the Spurs were in from 2002 to 2005. (Did I really tape Spurs vs Suns, Round One of four postseason rounds, Game Three of a seven-game series, from 2003, complete with postgame interviews, and with commercials carefully edited out, on the theory that one day I'd need to see it again? I guess I did.)
Somehow I couldn't part with any of my Walter Farley or John R. Tunis books. They were the joy of my childhood and I went to such effort to amass them. I still remember the thrill of finding the last two Tunis books I wanted at the legendary Powell's when my parents took me there one summer.
And needless to say, nothing C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien ever touched was thrown away, except for some books of which I had multiple copies. But even with those exceptions I was able to fill five big grocery paper bags full of books to be donated. I thought of selling them on eBay but the average profit margin there would be about $1.50 per book, not nearly enough to compensate me for the time spent listing and shipping them.
As for the videos, they're filling up an entire garbage can. (They're not stacked very efficiently in there, but still!)
Feels good to rid myself of possessions!