I am back with another somewhat obvious declaration (if you missed my previous one, I announced that I hate it when I don’t like a book): leaving books behind sucks!
I just moved back to the States a few days ago after spending a year-and-a-half abroad in the UK, and no joke, one of the hardest things I had to do was decide which books I would take with me back to the States. It was horrible!
There’s nothing like standing in front of a bookcase full of books and trying to reason in your mind which books are worth the limited luggage space you have and which are okay to leave behind.
(And in case you think that’s all the books I had to choose from, haha, no. I took that picture of my bookshelf when I moved first moved into Dave’s house like eight months ago. I had accumulated approximately thirty more books before having to pack to move back to the States. So all these PLUS thirty more to choose from! Ugh!)
“Well Asti,” you might say, “that was all your fault for buying so many books while abroad!” But noooo! You’re wrong! (And you’re a bully! I can buy books if I want!) Sure, I had bought a handful of books once I’ve moved to the UK (it’s hard not to when you have sad days and buying books makes you happy), but a lot of those books were gifted to me for holidays, won in giveaways, or were given to me as a result of my work placements. They were free books! Who says no to free books?!
But no matter where they came from, the problem is always the same: how does one decide which books to take home and which ones to leave behind?
- Do you take the ones that are personalized? Because having your name on a book is priceless? But what if the only reason you bought the book was to get it personalized and you’re not really sure if you’ll ever actually read it?
- Do you take the ones that were gifted to you? Because others were kind and spent their money to give you a book that was on your wishlist and it would be rude to leave it behind?
- Do you take the ones you bought? Even though some of those were surely impulse purchases that you might never get around to reading but were purchased just because buying books is fun?
- Do you take the ones that you got for free from work placements? Because they’re free books and free books are awesome?
- Do you take books that are part of new series? Or do you try to stick to standalones?
- Do you only take books you haven’t yet read because they deserve a chance to be loved too and you rarely reread so it’s not like you’ll ever read the books you’ve already read again? Or do you take the books you’ve read because some of them are your favorites and others are part of series you own back home and you want your collection to be complete?
Seriously, SO MANY THINGS TO THINK ABOUT!!!!! The first day I went to pack my bags I literally just broke down in tears looking at my bookshelf because the whole thing was just so overwhelming.
And I know, you’re likely to ask, “Why didn’t you find a way to ship them all to the States?” Well, shipping stuff internationally, especially heavy things like books, is expensive. It would be cheaper for me to just re-buy many of the books back in the States than shipping them.
So, what did I end up bringing back to the States with me? Well, altogether I think I managed to shove around 40 books in my three checked-in bags and carry-on. I packed:
- Books on my TBR I knew without a doubt I would read: Kinslayer, The Dream Thieves, etc.
- Books that were gifted to me from bloggers/loved ones: Splintered, Anna Dressed in Blood, etc.
- Books that I wanted to complete my collection: Dreams of Gods and Monsters, Allegiant, etc.
- Books that were personalized that I just cannot leave behind: Vicious, More Than This, etc.
- Books that I read and were favorites from the past two years: Cress, The Raven Boys, etc.
Now that may sound like a lot, but for each book that fit these categories that I took home, I left a couple behind. So yeah, I took home my personalized editions of Vicious and More Than This, but I left behind my unread personalized copies of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and Invisibility. I just couldn’t take them all. (And that realization was HEARTBREAKING!)
But wait, you haven’t even heard the worst of it yet. Not even.
I spent the past month stressing about this whole damn book situation and how I’m going to get all my books into one place, right? And I’ve made the tough choice to bring certain books back to complete my collection back home and have suffered reader’s guilt leaving so many unread books behind.
Well, if Dave has his way, I will be coming back to the UK.
I just. I can’t even. Let’s not talk about that. Because what am I going to do then? Bring back all forty books I just brought with me to the States? And what about the hundred that were left in the States to begin with? I mean, seriously, what the hell?! DOES HE NOT KNOW MY BOOKWORM HEART CAN HANDLE THIS!?!?!?!!!
*cough* I’m cool. It’s fine. Nothing to see here…