Since 2001 most of these weekly newsletter/blogs have focused on recent articles or books that have relevance to counseling, coaching or leadership. Most are books that I read, marked up and added to my library. Now, the shelves are filled and there are too many boxes of books accumulating in my basement. So I’ve started doing something with all those books. A good friend flew here from Guatemala to spend a week selecting books that would be useful for the Central America Theological Seminary library. I sold some books to a used bookstore but got only 17 cents for each volume. Perhaps 300 books were dropped into a used books receptacle and some just went into recycling. Even so, my bookshelves are still mostly full.
I was surprised at how difficult this process has been. Many of the books are outdated and of limited value to anyone. Old journals and many of the books are now accessible electronically. So why would dismantling my library be of interest to anybody who reads this newsletter?
• Letting go of valued possessions, books included, can be s struggle. Many of these books shaped my life, thinking, and career. As they went into that book depository box I felt a wave of grief. I was throwing away a part of my life.
• Possessions are more easily released when they can have value to others. Sending so many to a school library (and giving others to professional colleagues) was fulfilling to me. It also was good knowing that most of the outdated books will be recycled.
• Sometimes letting go is helpful. Houses are built to live in, not to store the carpenter’s rusty tools. I no longer need all of those books that built a lot of my life. Our value is not measured by how many things or books we possess (Luke 12:15).
• Even so, some possessions are worth keeping. I am a forward looking guy but like souvenirs of previous trips, selected books and other possessions are worth keeping as reminders of the people, writers and events that God used to shape us earlier in life.
How have disposed of the books or other stuff (including clutter) in your house and your life? Please comment.