Tuesday, December 10, 2019

On the pain of shedding. . . . .

Ah, Time--with a capital 'T'!  How it passes!  We are about to move from our location here at Penn State, to western Massachusetts.  And, though still active in some ways, Anne and I have both retired.  I am someone who was.

One of the more ominous (reality-checking) activities at this stage of life has been shedding shelves-worth of books.  These included fiction and that sort of thing, novels and other non-fiction books. Never to be read again, one might expect that emptying the shelves of this dead weight would be a cheerful chore of relief.  

I've been staring at the bindings of these shelves-worth of these books for decades.  Dusty they may be, nor never to be read again (or, in the case of science books, obsolete except to an historian).  Some, I haven't looked in for more decades than I can accurately count.  From my undergraduate classes way back when. From my subsequent graduate training to be an Air Force meteorologist.  And many from my later graduate work in genetics and anthropology.

Many were books about genetics, or programming books in C++ and other languages that I can hardly remember.  How-to statistics and genetic analytic methods books.   But they were the minority.  The majority included popular science and travel books, novels, and more novels.

These books have served as a comforting kind of wall paper, a connection with the past, a bit of ever-present familiarity.   That means that even if a book was not a good one, or is available in local libraries or as an e-book, tossing it has been painful.  

Ah, well, one must shed old feathers and, hopefully survive to generate a new coat.. . . .

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