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I've been purging

No, not that kind of purging.

I've been on a cleaning-and-getting-rid-of-stuff kick lately, which has been as good for my soul as it's been for my cluttered home.

When I was working as a graphic designer in Ohio, I had quite a library of technique and idea books. Color theory, type design, writing ad copy, layout ideas – you name it, I bought it. I didn't go to design school and the only graphic class I took in the two years of college I attended was learning to run a printing press.

And oh, what fun that was!

So I bought the books to teach myself, and I think I was a pretty valuable employee, eventually working my way up to the position of Senior Ad Designer for a chain of central Ohio newspapers.

I left Columbus more than 17 years ago. My freelance graphic design career here in southern West Virginia has included some paying customers, but nearly everything I do now is voluntary. I've managed to keep up with the technology without spending a ton of money on software or hardware – which is the distinct advantage of working for a company!

All of that to say that I'm getting rid of those beloved design books which relied on handset type and hand-drawn roughs and wax and masks and ruling pens, oh my. Computers revolutionized ad design; my books might find a market at the library's book sale this fall as curiosities. So this is how they used to do that! Nowadays it's click-drag-DONE!

I donated a bunch of knitting books to last year's sale, but I still have more than I need. The internet has transformed the world of knitting as much as computers transformed graphic design. Need a pattern? A Google search turns up thousands, some free, some for sale, all professional formatted and most with multiple photos to illustrate both technique and finished product.

Yes, the minimalist movement has made it to the Middle of Nowhere.

The goal is to eventually remove a wall of bookshelves in the bedroom and store all the books we truly want to keep on built-ins in the living room. If we were truly minimalist, we'd get along with e-books, I suppose, but there are printed volumes I'll never (I say now) be able to get rid of.

Who knows, though. Maybe the more stuff I release into the world, the lighter and happier I'll be. Someday you'll find me in a hammock with a Kindle, spending my time soaking up knowledge or being entertained by a fantastic piece of fiction (The Goldfinch qualifies) rather than rearranging shelves of unread tomes.

Hmmm. Maybe I could put the feather duster in that box, too. Less dusting = more time for reading!


Anonymous said…
It's so hard to purge books! I "got rid of" a bunch of mine by putting them in boxes under the bed... I just can't bring myself to throw them away, and they are in much too bad shape to donate anywhere.

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