Negotiating books

Once upon a time, when The Angry Chef and I decided to “kind of move in, with boxes” as one person put it at the time, something not quite so obvious was put into motion although it took me no time to figure out. We weren’t just combining our things within the four walls of his apartment (where my boxes and I were gladly and enthusiastically invited to live).

I had no furniture, no home furnishings of any kind, and had recently (be still, my heart) made the ultimate sacrifice of donating approximately 40% of my wardrobe to charity (including almost 15 pairs of shoes – I feel this is important to point out), so that the remaining 60% had a fighting chance of fitting in our new home.

No, the thing that really cooked my noodle were the books. The Angry Chef and I read quite a lot and love our books. But one of the reasons why we first decided to go out on a date was because we love the same books. I was about to finish university, and he had been living on his own for a while – so duplicates were inevitable.

This one was a duesy. How do you throw the wobbly of telling your partner some of his books haven’t made the cut? Because I was not donating the ones that I was bringing in. Shoes may come and go, but books – books are forever. There was a copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude that I had carried with me since high school; there was a copy of Breakfast at Tiffany’s that I had bought in Zurich one afternoon to cheer me up when I felt sad and missed home. There was the copy of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, one of The Angry Chef’s favourite books and one of my favourites too. How could I compare his copy to my copy and decide which one was going to end up in our local English library? Is this reasonable? Is it even legal?

I for one took the adult approach: I put all duplicates in a box, carefully labelled it “High-heeled winter boots” and put it in the cellar, below a similarly labelled (but more truthful) box.

At least for now.

Thank you so much for reading and have a great weekend!

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One comment on “Negotiating books

  1. Ed Mercer says:

    UHAhuahuAhuAHUAUHa me and Cau got through the same motions, but with an easier solution: I am attached to the stories, not the substance of the book. No, that does not mean I like e-books *yuck*, it just means I’m not attached to a *particular* copy of a book. So whenever we had duplicates, mine were the ones that got traded away (unless when hers were in specially bad shape).

    Now we’re faced with a related but much harder predicament: how do you fly circa 500 books to their new home 13 thousand km away without going bankrupt in the process?

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