More than this, it’s the books.
I have a lot of books. I don’t know how many; I measure them in cubic feet. Every time I move house, I give stacks away: sackfuls go to second hand shops; I thrust piles of them into the arms of strangers; I leave them at communal bookshelves and at bus stops. And by the time I move again, I have more than ever. An unwieldy amount. So the whole process begins once more.
I find myself unable to simply shove them all into boxes and be done with it. I have to carefully select those I want to hold onto and those I can release into the wild. They’re like old friends; I can’t just give them a nod of recognition and pass on by. I have to spend a few moments with them, leafing through the pages, reminiscing, planning our next meeting. There are books given to me by lovers or friends with inscriptions I can’t help but skim, or even just books with covers that so strongly evoke the time that I read them or what their authors made me think, that I have to pause and recollect.
And the stories contained within them are sometimes more real to me than my own memories. Their leaves are a part of my skin.
There is no way I’m getting a fucking Kindle any time soon.