I stumbled across this quote from English actress Emilia Fox:
“I never feel lonely if I’ve got a book – they’re like old friends. Even if you’re not reading them over and over again, you know they are there. And they’re part of your history. They sort of tell a story about your journey through life.”
I know what she means because some of my oldest friends are also books. Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree” and Lloyd Alexander’s “The Book of Three” and C.S. Lewis’ Narnia chronicles and the autobiography of Malcolm X — the list goes on.
These books do not sit on my bookshelf. I’ve neither read them nor owned them for years.
See, I don’t need to own a book to know its emotional bond with me. I remember titles, authors, plots, and memories that matter; and I know where to get them if I really need to reread them or show them to people. But to hold onto those books as if they were trophies of my past?
Francine Joy elaborates:
“Sometimes we fear that getting rid of certain things means getting rid of part of ourselves. But remember: you are not the college notebooks and swimming trophies packed in the basement; you are not the designer shoes and handbags lining your closet; you are not the books, gadgets, craft supplies, heirlooms, or tchotchkes in your living room. Your memories, dreams, and ambitions aren’t contained in these objects – they’re contained in you.”
I respect my history and my favorite books’ parts in that history. And, that’s enough.