The Problem with Packing

Ah, moving. Such a logistical pain in the ass. I dread the point at which I’ll finally be left with a disgusting mixture of plastic baubles, paper clips, stray utilities receipts, and ugly greeting cards of sentimental value– and instead of having the patience or endurance to sort through all that crap and just throw it away, will toss it all in another cardboard box and drag it along with me to my next abode, only to have it stare reprovingly at me for the next six months while I try to avoid facing up to my inability to eliminate clutter.

Anyway. My departure is still just under a month away, and I don’t even have a place set up yet to which to move, but I thought I could try and get a leg up by beginning the book-packing process. It’s a lengthy one; although I’ve gotten better about getting rid of volumes I don’t like/won’t use/will really never read, the number of moving boxes that ends up getting filled with printed tomes usually winds up totaling more than my age, and I’m teetering over my last couple of years in my thirties. (Yeah, I’ve done this a lot, and can predict by now the amount of space in the van my reading addiction will involve; among all my relocations spent dragging books along with me was one that entailed a true coast-to-coast move.)

The process starts out as an easy one; for the most part, my library is organized according to a half-logical, half-idiosyncratic system of classification, and certain chunks usually beg to fit neatly into cardboard containers. But then the individual volumes that have been completely overlooked for the last few months or years start calling out for attention– and suddenly, I’m in a quandary about whether to pack them or set them aside for pre-moving reading. Out of the blue, it suddenly becomes imperative that I dive into The German Ideology, which until now has given me the stink-eye for being neglected, its spine accusing me every time I glimpse it of having no true grasp of Marx, and therefore, of being a failed human being.

I’m proud to say that I resisted its draw, and that it’s now stacked inside a carton.

But, having run out of boxes for the night, I’ll probably be tempted into setting aside at least a stack of stuff I aspire to read before the new job and new life get underway. Admittedly, there are more harmful snares to be worried about– and so I’ll be thankful that the most I’ll probably suffer from this particular one are paper cuts and a wasted hour or two lingering over words I’ll eventually have enough time to give my full attention.


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