December 19, 2012: Cleaning Out the Library

Dominica had to return to work early this morning so I stayed home with the girls again.  Dominica and the girls are heading to Houston tomorrow morning for the holidays so today is my last day to spend with them until I see them on Christmas.  So I spent as much time today hanging out with the girls as possible.

Dominica had another long day at the office today and decided to just work through lunch rather than trying to come home so that she could move the day along faster (or get in more hours, as is more likely to be the case.)  So it was just Liesl, Luciana and I together all day.  The girls are getting used to being home with just me now and seem to enjoy our days together and Dominica is getting less panicky about leaving me alone with them for a day at a time.

It was seventy six out today so I got all of the windows open and got some fresh air in the house.  I can’t believe that it is in the second half of December already and this nice out.

Dominica and I talked last night about the number of books that I have remaining in the library in my office and how there just is not any room for anything because all of the shelves are completely full and mostly of books that it would be most unlikely for me ever to read again.  Some because the are outdated, some because they just aren’t a book I would use anymore, some because they were college texts that I don’t think were very good but had to buy, etc.  I’m at a different point in my career than I was when I amassed this collection.

So I started culling through the books today to separate out what I want to keep and what I don’t want to keep.  Easier said than done.  These books represent a huge piece of my professional history and a massive financial investment and they look really cool on the shelves.  It is depressing clearing out book after book but I made the determination that any book that isn’t on the very latest iteration just can’t be justified.

Unlike my book clearing of 2007 which I did ahead of moving out of the house at Geneseo I was far more aggressive this time.  I easily cleared out three or four times as many books as I did in 2007.  The volume of books being moved out is really quite staggering.  It is certainly shocking to me.  There are many books that I am very sad to see go but simply cannot justify keeping just to keep.  There are a handful that I am keeping for nostalgic reasons – Apple ][ and GW BASIC programming books, my very first certification book – MSPress’ Networking Essentials 2nd ed. and my four books on BeOS, but that is about it.  Everything else being kept is staying only because it is highly relevant still.  I condensed the office pretty dramatically.  I have so much more space now.  I cleared out some non-technology books too.

I really needed to do this.  I wish that I had done this before moving to Texas.  Moving all of these books over and over again is what I needed to have avoided.  I definitely want to be prepared before we have to move again.  Moving the books is one of the hardest things that we do.  Going pure ebooks from here on out just makes sense.  I can use those anywhere and move them all along with me over the years.

Like I did in 2007, I took pictures of all of the books and posted them both on Flickr and on Spiceworks in the hopes that some people would be interested and come haul away the books.  I would be a lot happier knowing that they are headed off to good homes rather than to recycling.  I posted the Epic Library pictures online.

I even went out to the garage and started taking the boxes off of the shelves there and bringing them in and going through them looking for more books that we should not be keeping.  I keep forgetting that there were about ten boxes of additional books hiding out there buried beneath all of the other stuff that has arrived and piled up in front of them.  Not nearly enough bookshelves were installed in my office by our incompetent Texan contractor so about one third of the books had to remain boxed.  He was clearly told how much shelving was needed but installed only about half what we ordered claiming that it was more than we could possibly need.  Um, fail.

Most of what I found in the garage ended up in the donation pile but I did come across books that I was missing and that I had wondered what had happened to them.  I still have a handful that I can’t quite place where they have gone, but only a few.

We need to go through all of the books in storage still up in New York.  I really, at this point, have no idea what all is up there.

This evening, once Dominica got home, we had some soup and watched the end of the third season of Hot in Cleveland, one of our favourite sitcoms.  The girls were super snugly tonight.  While she was awake, Luciana was on my lap in the arm chair playing games on Dominica’s phone and Liesl was wrapped up in blankets snuggling with Dominica on the couch.

While we were watching the show a cold front moved in and the wind was just crazy.  The wind was whipping through the house all evening.  It was cold too.  Really quite surprising after such a warm day.

Once Luciana went to bed Liesl moved over and sat on my lap all evening.  She stayed up really late, till eleven thirty, even after Dominica had gone to bed.  Liesl announced that we are a “snugly family” tonight.  She is really so sweet.  Every night and afternoon when Luciana goes for bed Liesl runs down the hall to give her a kiss goodnight and says “Goodnight Luciana, sweet dreams!”

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