We've all heard the quote attributed to Cicero. I've still got the Amazon refrigerator magnet with the quote. But is it really a body without a soul? Especially when books and souls meant something completely different to Cicero than they do to us today. Without a doubt, I can say the house feels emptier without books. But then the house is mostly empty except for our beds and some staging furniture and decorations.
Anyway, the quote came to mind last night when I finished a book from the library and found myself wandering around the house, a habit I usually engage in after I wrap up a book. Sadly, I wasn't able to pull books off the shelf and consider if this or that book was what I wanted to read next since all our books have been gone for several weeks. I donated at least half of my books to the friends of the local library and the remaining ones are packed up and in storage. We even sold all of the bookcases that aren't built-in. I find myself avoiding the office nook since its bookcases (below) make me sad just to look at them. All that's left here is a few staging items and a printer.
We will be moving at the end of December, but I don't know how soon I'll have my remaining books unboxed, or even if the house we're renting has much in the way of bookcases. You can bet I've already checked out the new town's library's website to see what is available, what their interlibrary loan policy is (free!!!), and what events they have planned. There will be plenty to check out and explore once we're there, which I'm looking forward to doing, and friends seem to find it funny that I know more about the nearby libraries than I do about the house into which we're moving. Hopefully I'll get some books from my wish list for Christmas to help bridge the gap.
What started with a joke by my wife at a conference in May led us to check out the new area at the end of July, then spending the next two months purging the house and sifting through the detritus of our lives. It has been an intense process, but the thought of moving to an area we love where we can be financially secure makes it all worthwhile. So yes, our house feels like it is without a soul right now, but at the same time it represents a lot of promise.
Update: For Lisa...here's a picture of some of the books the stager used in our house. I would love to know what they are just to pretend I'm able to read them.
Update 2: Pictures of the title pages. Table of contents are in the back, but I'm more interested in the "Printed in the USSR" stamps on them.
And here I was talking about a house without books, and I'm focusing on the books in the house. Seems contradictory, doesn't it?