There’s no doubt that romance fiction has the ability to move its readers. The big question Is, how capable of moving (vast collections of) romance fiction are its readers?
Normally, I like the focus of these discussion posts to be on you, the readers, but I’m going to get personal this time. I am writing this week’s post in the middle of packing our apartment to move. Everything goes on the big truck tomorrow, and that, of course, includes the most precious cargo of all. No, I don’t mean my family members. They (with the exception of the cat) are fully capable of making the move under their own steam. The cat will be going in her carrier, but she is named after the iconic Skye O’Malley, after all, so good enough point to segue into the serious business of moving while bookish
First thing to keep in mind, when moving a large amount of books from one domicile to another: books are heavy. This move, we got smart, and have learned to fill the boxes half full of books, and half full of something softer and lighter. This also reduces the need for disposable packing materials, but may require clear labeling and/or a good memory on what exactly is used to balance out the weight.
The second thing is maybe even of greater weight: how to classify the books when packing them. Do we go by favorites, with the favorite=favorites in their own box(es) so that they can be watched with the diligence of a royal guard, or do we keep them sorted by author, by genre, by format? All paperbacks together, all hardcovers together? What about a series that crosses formats? What about trade versus mass market, versus category, versus those weird sizes they don’t make anymore?
Next if one of the most important questions of moving; what books are going to travel with us? This is serious business. Sure, most of us have at least one electronic device upon which we can read, but there cone times when we want a specific kind of books, and nothing else will do. If nothing else, knowing that there is a favorite re-read or much anticipated new book waiting at the end of the hot, dusty move, can add a spring in our steps as we haul box after box, from old home to truck to new home and/or storage unit.
If storage is going to come into the picture, then we also have the question of what books we absolutely have to have at hand, and the ones that are perfectly fine in safekeeping for another day. It’s not always a matter of what books we actually intend to read at any particular time but knowing they are there is part of what makes a new place feel like home. The need to pet a cover or spine, read the first few lines, or touch base with an inscription or author autograph, is a perfectly good reason for putting a certain book or books at the top of the list.
Perhaps the most fun part about moving with books is when we’ve reached our destination, and traded in the packing tape dispenser for a box cutter, because we’re home, home at last, and what makes a new place feel like home more than our favorite books? From the first zip of blade through packing tape (hopefully not nicking any covers in the process, but a sheet of newsprint between books and tape usually guards against such problems) to the first book on the first shelf, moving the books in, is, for many of us, the real milestone. Once the books are here, we’re here to stay.
Once the books are in place, it’s time to figure out where, in this new place, the reading nook is going to be. That might be bed, the porch swing, office chair, window seat, bathtub, pretty much anywhere that feels right, and it may not be the same as it was in the old house. Finding the right spot make take some trial and error, or it may be perfectly clear from the first foot through the door. Maybe it presents itself by accident. Glance at the back of a book while carrying it upstairs, and end up reading the whole thing in the middle of the stairway? Hey, it happens.
Moving with books can be a challenge (and a workout) but the rewards of setting up a brand new personal library, to start the next chapter of life, well, that’s a pretty good beginning, in my book. Pun intended.
So, dear readers. I turn it now over to you. Have you ever moved with a large collection of books? What tip do you wish you knew about moving books, before you made that move? How did you decide which books to bring with you, and which to rehome? How do you organize your books when you move? Got any hints or horror stories? Pull up a chair in the comment section and tell us all about it. If you’re e-book only and thus never have these problems, we want to hear about that, too. There’s room for everybody at this table.