After living 12 years in Alaska, I had quite the library going. Four large bookcases were full of pages I loved unconditionally. I did not read every title, but I loved the thought of them and the people who wrote them.
Then we decided to leave Alaska and hit the road. At the time we still had our 19-foot travel trailer, which we used to get there. I could sit at the table and put dishes in the sink without getting up. No couch or extra storage. I guess you can say it was “quaint.”
We pulled it with a six-cylinder Toyota Tacoma, so weight was always a concern.
The yard sales began, which brought back memories of how we sold everything before heading up to Alaska from Colorado 12 years prior. At the time, you could figure it costs $1 per pound to ship, so we analyzed every. single. thing. we owned.
We shipped a few belongings north, which included some of the beginnings of my library. I felt they were worth about $1 each on average.
But as we were leaving Alaska, we decided to limit our costs. Still, the books made it into the shipping crates.
If you have ever made the leap to go full-time in an RV, you know what I am talking about. I had to change my mindset. Every time I picked something up at the store, I asked myself, “Will it fit in the trailer?” The answer was always “No.”
It was the year 2000 when we sold our home and most of the belongings in it and drove off to Alaska. In 2012, we sold all the furniture we accumulated over 12 years and got back into the 19-footer and headed out of Alaska. A few items came back down to the Lower 48 with us but landed in a storage facility.
In 2014 we decided to plop for a while to help Mom, whose health was failing. We rented furnished places at first and shipped our storage things from Utah to Tennessee. Books included. After a year we decided to buy furniture and move into a small apartment. Now the trailer was the one in storage, only coming out for work trips.
The process began again in 2016, when we got the trailer out of storage and made a major trek from Maine to San Diego and back to the east. That journey ended in 2018, back in Colorado for various reasons. My hubby drove to Tennessee and brought our storage stuff to Colorado where we stayed in a furnished place of friends.
We always had good intentions to stop and stay put, but if you are a wanderer, like we are, it is not an easy task. The road keeps calling. But so did my books!
In the summer of 2019, we bought this new 31-foot Class C motorhome. My pictures, memorabilia, and books are still in a storage facility in Colorado. When the pandemic hit, we were close to that facility, so we decided to stop in. We moved it across the valley to a less expensive spot that was easier to get to.
But I was taking up a lot of valuable space in the motorhome with books – only about 150 of them. So, I decided to pull out 50 or so and list them for sale on Facebook Marketplace. They sold that day. Who wouldn’t buy 50 business books for $35? A few were donated to a library, and I sold some at bookstores. But others ended up in the storage shed. Even after downsizing, about 10 boxes still live in that 5’x10′ space.
I still have books with me, but I asked for a Kindle for Christmas last year and have not purchased a paper book in almost two years. Now I am on a quest to buy the digital version of all my favorite books and donate the paper versions. It is a very difficult thing for me to do.
Silly to mourn books, but, hey, it’s still a lost love.
I am not sure that I will ever have a complete mindset change when it comes to books. Bookstores call out to me, but when I enter I have to say, “It won’t fit in the motorhome.” And living this life is much more attractive to me than a stack of books in the corner.