When I think about what I’ll miss after I head across the pond in January, one of the main things that pops into my head – besides family and friends, of course – is my room, with books on every surface.
Ever since I was young, I’ve hoarded books like nobody’s business. I have four standing bookcases (full), books on the floor, in the closet, and in five to seven boxes in various spaces around the house. I’ve even started laying them sideways across my already full shelves.
There is something about the feel of turning a page that I love. There is something about the feel of leather embossed with gilt writing. There is something about the smell of an old book, the musty, ancient, papery smell of the spine when you crack it open. I make it a priority to acquire books like that. I love them, and I read them, but I can’t exactly take them with me when I need to fit four months worth of clothes, school, and such into the fifty pound weight limit that currently governs international travel.
I will, of course, be taking some of my favorite paperbacks; the small ones, not the larger ones. But there is something special, incomparable, about the feel of an 1888 volume of Nathaniel Hawthorne, or a late 19th century copy of The Three Musketeers, or one of my 1936 copies of Gone With the Wind.
I’ll miss them.