My friend Kelly always teases me that she will never ever help me move again unless I get rid of some books. I don't know that I will be moving any time soon, but I have been attempting to downsize some of my belongings. Books are close to impossible to part with. If I do manage to find one I don't want (from one of my four bookshelves), I end up rationalizing buying four more.
I spend more time on Amazon than I do at the library. This weekend I decided that one entire bookshelf had to go. The shelf itself was an eyesore. It took an entire day. I managed to rid myself of about 3 whole books. But I took some baby steps. I reshuffled and decided that some books could be stacked neatly in one of my closets. I mean seriously, what are the chances of me ever rereading Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics or Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals? I majored in philosophy for a year or so in undergrad and for some reason, I seem to think that I need these books forever.
And Bukowski. I thought he was a god when I was much much younger. I must have 20 0r more of his books. I still admire his infinite drive to write every day. There is something to say about coming home from a night out and hammering out three poems. I used to do that. Truthfully, those poems of mine need burned. It was a satisfying experience but nothing came out of it. I suppose it was a necessary stage in my early writing life, but in the end I had to distance myself from his work. His line breaks...I won't even get started.
I will never be able to write three poems in one night again. I'm ecstatic if I write three poems in a month. I can think about one line for hours, even days. My process is slow and neurotic.
As for Bukowski, well, I am not quite ready to part with his books, but all of them, except for one, are stacked in a closet. I imagine some day I will let go.