Friday, April 29, 2011
Last year, moving away, I packed up all my books, box after box after box of them, each box sealed shut with screeching packing tape. I piled them up everywhere, one on top of the other, my rooms looking like a giant child's tilting cardboard city. I had given many away, but the rest I couldn't part with - I knew they tracked my life as much as anything that had happened to me. But they weighed me down. They were still objects, and massed together, an obstacle course, a giant weight to drag around. They were the reason I had to get a second storage space, had to ask the movers to use their shoulders to slide the metal doors shut.
I started to fantasize about E-Readers, Kindles, flat rectangles that weighed next to nothing. I swore devotion to libraries, overdue emails, driving up to book return slots and slipping them in. Sending them back. Passing them on. Releasing the words into the air like they were birds. Bye bye.
That didn't last. I miss them. I want to look at them again. Stack them up. Hold them. Hear that lovely spinal crack. Shut the covers down and trap the words inside. Feel their weight, let them weigh me down again.