I’m moving on Friday, to a whole new job, a whole new city, a whole new country in fact. I’m excited and terrified at the same time. This is a whole new level of independence and responsibility that I’ve never had before, and knowing me, I will either screw up badly or do brilliantly. There’s no middle ground.
One of the things I’m really looking forward to is having my own place and furnishing it the way I like (priorities, amirite?). I’ve started looking at apartment listings and furniture catalogues already. I have visions of myself strolling through IKEA, seeing my perfect living room/bed room and saying, “This is it. This is so me.” I am also on the lookout for the perfect bookshelf… which brings us to the title of this post.
HOW THE HELL DO I CHOOSE WHICH BOOKS TO TAKE?
Books, I’ve discovered, are very heavy indeed. 10 paperbacks and 5 hardbacks together weight 6.7 kg (14.7) pounds. I’m only allowed 40 kg for my flight, of which 10 kg have already been taken up by the weight of my bags themselves. Speaking of bags, I had absolutely no idea they could cost so much; I was so shocked! Anyway. I have about 400 books on my shelves, out of which there are 65 books I haven’t read it (give or take). My first solution?
I thought I was making good progress. I was reading one book per day. But with a sinking feeling, I realised that if I were to read all my books before leaving, I would need to go through at least 6 per day. Impossible. Distraught, I started thinking of other tactics.
1. I could stuff all my books in my handbag. That’s not suspicious at all. Airports don’t weigh handbags! Of course, it still means I need to find a ginormous handbag asap. Plus, I think the sound of my shoulder breaking at the airport might give me away. Next!
2. I could flirt with the customs officer. The problems with this became immediately evident. I don’t know how to flirt; I’ll probably be taken for a lunatic, and I’ll probably end up embarrassing myself with something like this:
3. Leave all my clothes behind and only pack my books. This was a bad idea. For very obvious reasons.
4. Have by books shipped by sea or air. Or even land. Nope. Not unless I want to pay an arm and a leg for it. I already will be having a lot of expenses and I need to save as much money as I possibly can.
5. I could not take any books at all… said my mother. She was serious. I could only mouth soundlessly at her.
Eventually I realised that my only option would be to take some of my books with me (15 at the most), and pick up my other books during later trips. I was just starting to come to term with this decision when I became aware that I had come full circle. In fact, I’ve only made things more difficult for me – how the heck do I go about picking 15 books out of my entire collection?
If you had to choose 10 books to take with you from your shelves, which would you choose? Have you ever been in a similar situation? If you’ve got any more solutions, do let me know!