punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,
punkwalrus
punkwalrus

Shedding the material shell... or, "NO, MINE MINE!"

Last night I was driven to make cookies. So I did.

I also got a lot of housework done. I stayed ahead of the laundry curve, fixed a Linux box problem, replaced a hard drive, straightened up the laundry room, cleaned the kitchen, and did some general cleaning in my den.

I certainly have a lot of stuff. For the past few years, I have been starting to question why I keep certain things. Take books for instance. I have about a thousand paperbacks, a few hundred hardbacks, and a bunch of gaming stuff. Most are in boxes in a closet. Will I ever need them? Do I need them so badly that I am willing to take up space in closets? For years, I just thought, "Oh, I'll build bookshelves for them later." Why? They do not appreciate in value, and if anything, they are a fire hazard. There are a few I am sure I will need for later reference, or some so good, I know I'll read them again. But if I just keep those, that would only be about a fraction of what I have now. For many years, I was obsessed in keeping my collection of books I had read. Why? As a trophy? Who the hell would I impress? For a while I thought I'd keep them for my son, but he doesn't really get into books, and recently I saw this site where some people were doing this campaign of leaving paperbacks in public places (busses, waiting rooms, etc.) with a sticker that said it was free for circulation, as long as when the reader was finished, they would leave it in some other public place. It was a campaign for literacy or something. It started me thinking that not only am I keeping books for no good reason, but I am preventing anyone else from reading them as well. This didn't sit well with me. I won't be here forever, and when I am gone, most likely my books will get tossed away of I don't get them back out in the public.

Still, that nagging sense of materialism gets to me. "But they are mine!" I protest in my gut. "Mine mine mine mine!" Then my superego goes, "materialism is a path to misery. It is greedy to hold onto these things. Why do you want to keep the books anyway? You don't have to get rid of all of them. Keep the ones you need for reference or for nostalgia, and circulate the rest. And you'll feel good that you did a good deed for someone else." "NOOOOO!!!! MINE MINE MINE MINE!!!!"

[...sigh]

Of course, I know some of my friends are the same way. In fact, most of them are. For instance, my friends Liska and Pocky have HUGE collections of books in shelves that fill basements. I doubt Pocky even has the TIME to read all that shojo gymnast manga, and I doubt he uses them for reference material. At least, I hope not! :) Hee! And I am sure this entry will generate at least one letter from a friend going, "OMG PUNKIE! I'LL TAKE THEM!!!!" and I'll say, "Get help, man."

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000638.html
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