Bibliophilic Anxiety 

Monday, February 06, 2006

This Canadian craze over downsizing and reducing clutter is great. I hate knick-knacks, bric-a-brac, baubles, bibelots, tsochkes. I am all down with getting rid of them. My house will be minimal, everything that remains must be purely functional to maintain its place in the household. A few souvenirs of quality or mementoes of sentimental ties can remain.

De-cluttering is the purging of our times. A blood-letting procedure to rid ourselves of the weight of materialism. All of us have accumulated so much.

Today a volunteer dropped by the museum with a stack of books to donate.

"If I won't read them again in the next two, no, five years, I get rid of them," he said.

My new boss has a disdain for books. "I've reduced all my books to one shelf. Really, you don't want to move everywhere with those things."

Matt twice told me that books don't really fit into the decor of any room. "The spines are different colours. They can't match the surroundings."

My mother, meanwhile, threatens bimonthly that she would burn my library the next time she's in town. I foiled her this time, by not revealing the identity of my $300 library sale find.

Everywhere, the signs read, Get rid of your books. I am beaten from my vision of a Viennese living room library, where the books threaten avalanches to the television cowering in their shadow.

I must comply.

I must get rid of my books.

It's made me depressed. No, I don't want to.

Anyone! Does anyone have a reason why I can feel good again for owning hundreds of books?

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