Two years ago, when I moved from the country to the city, I gave away most of the furniture along with boxes and boxes of books. Some went to friends, some to the art school’s fundraiser and student library, others to the hospice reading room. A few that I would have loved to keep — just to have and to hold and to re-read some day — went astray along the way. My current library consists mainly of books related to end-of-life care, dying, and buddhism for a total of about 250. Yesterday I began to cull even that list, pulling books I haven’t looked at for a year plus those that have simply moved outside my area of interest.
There’s this Zen notion of “knowing when enough is enough.” (Read more on this by the author of The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential, in Business and in Life.)
What do I/you need to live a full life? What, in terms of things, relationships, and activities, is necessary to sustain body, mind and heart? What is there that could be shed, given away, sold, recycled, or composted without causing suffering to self and others? What benefits might accrue from such shedding? Would anyone be deprived? Who’d be better off? What worries might be alleviated?
Worth considering, non?
image: “Library shelves overturned as a result of the 1949 Olympia earthquake,” University of Washington.