What I Learned from Throwing Away Books

It’s surprising to find so many good books in the wake of the flood that recently filled my basement. When I moved into this fairytale bungalow, I asked the movers to store my books in the basement until I could unpack and sort them. Time flew. I got side-tracked by a renovation project in the attic, feeling that I needed a place to write more than I needed a place to read. The books lay, forgotten, in boxes until the flood.

Photo from Flickr user v.max1978
Marooned amidst ski poles and a floating yoga mat, my books lay soaking in the stormy waters. I spent a day salvaging and sorting. As I opened boxes and lifted soggy volumes by James Joyce, Edith Wharton and Raymond Carver, it made me re-evaluate my life. What’s worth saving? Which losses actually lighten one’s load?

Spring cleaning was thrust upon me. And I don’t regret it. Like so many things in life, there is beauty in every challenge. I’ll keep this in mind as I embark on what is shaping up to be a very busy spring.

At LitLamp we are helping a business school re-invent its brand. A 100-year old medical association needs our help telling a new story. In our lab, we’re experimenting with an API that merges social media metrics with human behavior change.  

It’ll be a torrent of work and ideas that may swamp us at times. But having thrown away some books without a smidgen of regret, I know what I’m seeking. 

I want to dive into the deeper truths. I want to tackle meaningful projects and messages that light the way long into the future.