Wednesday, September 1, 2010

After thirty-three years of hauling around my one hundred-year-old set of red leatherette Harvard Classics, I decided this week to commit them to wine boxes and drop them at the local SPCA Thrift Store.

It was not an easy decision. The Classics were presented to me with great fanfare by my late-father on the occasion my fifteenth birthday. But now, with much of their contents online (and my father, too, for that matter), I see no reason to keep them around. Each volume measures 5” x 8” x 1.5”. Multiplied by fifty, and that is a lot of mass.

Out of curiosity I spent yesterday morning calculating the percentage of space they took up in my study. Turns out the books came in at 5%, more if you account for the window.

Five-percent of anything is noticeable. But rather than replace the Classics with new books, non-online books, I purged further, hoping to add in their place a chair and a side table, one small enough to support an even smaller stack of books, a place to retreat to after all that online reading.

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