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The stuff we take with us

Three decades after graduating from college, I was still lugging class textbooks from residence to residence as I moved around Texas to take new jobs.

Here is an indication of how attached I was to these and hundreds of other books: One of the most expensive texts I ever bought was something like $30. It was a political science book I had to buy for a master's-level class. The book was useless as a reference because the PAGE NUMBERS IN THE INDEX DID NOT MATCH THE ACTUAL PAGE NUMBERS IN THE BOOK! So, looking for Machiavelli? Good luck finding references to him on the actual pages.

I am learning this summer that I certainly was not exhibiting the bizarre behavior I thought I was. Dozens of people have brought old texts and hundreds and hundreds of other books to the library to donate for the Friends of the Library book sale. We're down-sizing, many of them tell us. We're retiring and don't have the space anymore.

I finally got to that very point two moves ago, when I was preparing to leave Wichita Falls for Temple. I looked at all those books and at all those boxes of books and said, No More.

And almost the entire collection, including that political science text, went to a charitable organization that could get some kind of value out of them other than the selfish feeling of owning (controlling? coralling?) all that stuff.

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