Day 2/21

Today,

I am grateful for…

  1. game nights
  2. having people to send letters to
  3. books to get rid of

# 3: This is an odd one for me. I always assumed happiness was additive.

You see, my father buys everything. “We don’t rent, we own,” which is why my allowance/paychecks always, always, always went to Barnes & Noble not to library fees. I thought I had to own things to be happy. That is why I currently own some 2,000 books. When I was living with other bibliophiles I had that nearly doubled. That still doesn’t account for all of the books still living with my parents. So I have books to burn.

But, if I look at my library, if I really think about how much space it takes up and what a pain it has been to move it (ten times in the last five years alone), I have to say, I was never happier than when I lived on the West Coast and had access to the best libraries. The libraries out on the West Coast are easily the best that I have ever seen. Just floors of stunning art work and mountains of books. All the newest releases, stacks of back catalogs, just dripping with availability. I had two library cards based on where I was living and had access to something like a million titles.

I preferred living on campus without any of my books. When I was in undergrad and living in my dormitory, all I had room for was a tiny little book shelf, which could only hold a handful of items (all of them spiritual in nature) and a bed, which I put on the floor, and a desk, which I eventually got rid of.  Instead of having access to my ever-expanding library, I read whatever I came across. Having moved a bunch, the need for books has substantially dwindled. I get demoralized thinking about packing them up and moving those heavy ass boxes.

However, having access to books is sheer joy. I love and need books and stories, but I think I prefer libraries. Having access to books through libraries is one of the single greatest inventions of mankind. Whenever I hear that a library is closing or needs funds, I get rationally angry. Because they provide so many useful services. They are the benchmark for every great civilization all the way to Alexandria.

If you pressed me, I must say, Detroit does not have good libraries. I strongly consider moving somewhere that has really nice libraries on an almost daily basis. So long as I live in Detroit, I fear that I won’t be able to get rid of my books simply because my library is so much nicer.

But, that means that I have lots that I can give away. Sure, I can be mad about the “wasted” money that could have gone into an IRA or 401k, but I also had a lot of adventure and became the best at what I do thanks to those purchases. So I’m grateful. Does anyone want a book?

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