There’s been a bit of a silence on this blog. Two reasons for that: 1) I’ve moved (again), and 2) I’ve read many ARCs and those reviews are in the queue for you. But today’s post will focus on the first reason: my experience moving (again).
Knowing there are hundreds of books at home sitting on shelves unread does not stop the compulsion to buy a book (or two or three) when I wander into a bookstore. You’d think that, after moving several times in my short life, I’d learn how to part with books and embrace the digital age. It’s very hard to part with books, it’s difficult to pack them, and it’s a pain to move them – but they’re like little children you love and care for. Book babies.
I’d blame my issues on parting with books on Toy Story, because it made my generation believe inanimate objects had feelings, but we’ll just move on with the notion that I’m a crazy bookworm and leave it at that. It’s why I had to create a resolution to Read 5 Buy 1, because my compulsion to buy books was becoming outrageous.
This compulsion was most noticeable when I had to pack ~500 books and move them from my shoebox Philly studio to my parents’ Midwestern home, where I’m temporarily staying. The moving truck was mostly packed with boxes of books. I thought I’d share with you my packing tips — the way packing books really works — for all my fellow book hoarders out there.
Stare at your shelves in despair. You used to stare at them in wonder and bliss. Look at all the stories! The worlds! The characters! The adventures! But now, with the impending move…look at all the weight.
I really did stare at them in despair.
Sigh dejectedly and contemplate packing options. Should you pack in alphabetical order? By collection? By the size and weight of the books? By Read and To-Read? Should you pack all of them at once and resort to reading off your ereader the next few days, or should you pack all but a few just in case? And how in the world do you choose those select few?
I separated by Read and To-Read, and then alphabetized.
My collections (Austen, Bronte, Potter and Taylor) were separated out as well.
Pack in a frenzy. Don’t think, just do! Build those boxes! Place the books inside! Tape it up! Lift the box to stack in a corner! Un-tape the box because it’s too heavy! Take books out! Re-tape the box! Stack! Realize you’re going to need another 10 boxes! Repeat!
Rossetti thought I was crazy.
Label them. Nothing’s worse than opening a heavy box and finding that the book you’ve been eagerly anticipating putting on the shelf first is not, in fact, in that box but in a box that won’t be opened for another hour.
This happened when I couldn’t find a few children’s books and the massive Potter book about the films. Frenzy!
Pack the remaining items in your home. And find yet more books stowed away in your sock drawer, sitting in the pantry, buried in a bag. Sigh, pack, label, repeat.
Every box was literally marked with “a few more books.”
Employ friends to help lift the boxes on (and when you’ve moved, off) the truck. Cause that’s what friends are for! Your bookish friends are the best ones – they totally understand.
Thank you, Barnes & Noble coworkers and alma mater’s English major friends!
Unpack and nest like crazy. Those books will feel so unloved if you don’t unpack them first! Not your clothes, not your cookware, the books. And it doesn’t matter if you’ll be at that place for two weeks, a few months, or years — the books will always be unpacked first. Remember to flatten and save those already-labeled boxes!
Have you had issues packing and moving books? How do you handle this undertaking?
8 thoughts on “Packing Tips From a Nomadic Book Hoarder”
You are following a good strategy of doing your research before travelling.
I have nominated you for the sisterhood of the world blogger award!
You can find out about it here: /http://melissaholden.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-award/
Well done! 🙂 (You don’t have to accept if you don’t want to!)
This post is lovely and so true to my life sometimes, it is all actually a bit frightening.
I’ll be doing this soon. Thanks for the tips!
For the Love of the Page
This is an amazing post! So funny… and incredibly true. Moving when you have hundreds of books really is the worst. I always underestimate weights and die moving them to and from.. Going to have to remember this post when I move in the next year or so! 😀
Oh gosh, two years ago I had to have a million small boxes when I moved the books because it was too heavy. Now, two years after lifting heavy books in a bookstore, I could do bigger boxes with more books — but it can still be painful!
This post was great! I hope you’re enjoying life after Rosemont. 🙂
Thank you! How is everything out there?