Well, tomorrow is moving day, and, for a moment, I was stuck for a post topic. I have to admit I have been packing and not reading and now all my books are in boxes (hence the horrible stock image, apologies dear readers). Then it dawned on me… moving books is a great topic! And moving AND books? I’ve got it made.
I have moved A LOT. For those of you who don’t already know, I’m an army brat with 12 moves under my belt before I was 17. People often ask me if it was hard, but I have to say, it wasn’t really that bad. Sure, when I was a little older it was harder to leave my friends, but moving to another army base with other kids who had just moved made making new friends a lot easier. I think that perhaps I’m just lucky but I think that, under the circumstances, I was forced to be friendly.
I trained myself at a young age to read in the car. Motion sickness was not going to conquer me (I might have been a stubborn child, simply determined not to puke) so eventually reading and moving became something that I did.
So, while I remember lots of faces from all of my moves, I mostly remember all the books I read along the way.
When I was a kid, moving across the country, books for ages 7-13 were kind of lacking. I just wasn’t interested in them. On our move from Winnipeg to Kingston Ontario I read the entire Lord of the Rings and then on a fishing/moving trip from Kingston to Petawawa I read the entire Belgariad + Polgara by David Eddings and then had to mail the set back to the Kingston Public Library.
I was thinking to myself that there aren’t really very many books about moving – but then I had to smack myself. How many books have I read recently about a kid who has just moved and the story unfolds from there… Moving is the catalyst for many a good plot nowadays. Try Skellig by David Almond or Henry K. Larsen by Nielson, I mean even Harry Potter moves to Hogwarts and into the wizarding world and then adventure ensues, Percy Jackson as well – and Riorden’s Kane Chronicles features a child who moves constantly. Actually, there are quite a few of those. Moving is a great way to start a story because then the reader and the character are in the same boat. They know nothing and no one and everything can be described as though it has never been seen before. If you are moving, and you have kids, try reading an exciting book that start with a move. Reading about a kid who eventually succeeds in his/her new location is heartening and – often – you’ll forget that there was ever a move at all because life and the adventure of it sweeps the story forward.
Now, as much as books can be an escapist remedy for moving, the the problem with moving is also, books. They are just so darn heavy! I remember heart-wrenchingly scouring through my shelves trying to decide which ones to give away or leave behind while carefully selecting a mixture of favourites and unreads to bring along (and I stuffed a LOT into my carry on bags). Recently, moving to and from Vancouver was another difficult book cleansing and now, I am moving across Ottawa and discovering ARCs and books I’ve read but probably won’t reread and should donate but…. it’s just so hard. Perhaps it is difficult because books are just so nice to own, they are always entertaining (even if they are bad) and somehow I get attached to a good book. I want to hold onto it, maybe reread it, maybe lend it to a friend and share a conversation about it.
Why is it so hard to let a book go? I feel like a dragon sitting on my pile of books, hoarding words and wisdom and fantasy.
Alas, moving day calls and I have to continue packing! I promise an actually book related post next week in January (we’re doing Middle Grade Madness!), by then I’ll be moved in and sitting atop my books once more.