Making a dent in it

Over the past few days, I have started to unpack some of the many boxes from the garage. Having finished off the office room, it was now time to begin to fill the shelves of the new units. I had anticipated finding lots of forgotten treasures, but so far everything has been as expected. I did find an unused 500gb portable hard drive, still in its packaging. This was a Christmas gift from a few years ago, intended to back up files and photos on the computer. I thought that it had been lost. Now I am going to have to work out how to use it…

Large boxes full of DVD films have been manhandled from the carefully stacked piles. After arranging the films three deep and sixteen high in long rows, I have counted well over 300, plus many box sets. This may sound like a lot, but I am sure that many I expected to find are not present, so I am hoping to discover another box of them somewhere. I separated the new and unseen films, still in their cellophane wrappers. They totalled almost 50, so I have some viewing to do in the coming winter months. Despite being stacked on top of each other for well over two years, nothing was damaged, which I found remarkable. Although the edges of the boxes were beginning to turn in with the pressure, all the cases held out well. I thought that I would give some of the poorer films away, to the local charity shop. Not surprisingly, I could only find a handful that I didn’t want to hang on to.

The boxes of books were a lot heavier than I remembered. This showed just how weak I have become, since the problems that I had after taking statins. It was with some difficulty that I hauled them around, and brought some of them into the house to sort through. As with the films, I parted with some, but not many. There are still lots more boxes to go through yet though. I have already found at least a dozen hardbacks that have never been opened, so there is plenty of reading to keep me occupied at some stage. They were all in very good condition. The sealed boxes had kept the pages dry, and they had also not curled, or become twisted. I had expected to find all sorts of insect life, alive and dead. There was nothing. A tribute to the sealing qualities of adhesive parcel tape.  I have two clear shelves left, and some space in the lower cupboards. Given the amount of books still outside, I am obviously going to have to make some hard choices soon. Some of the larger reference books are not going to fit on the shelves either. I am guessing that they will have to laid flat in the lower sections.

As well as the books and DVD  films, I found a lot of compact discs, and some treasured photo albums, covering different periods in my life. Regrettably, I chose to use the type with adhesive pages, covered by a plastic film. These were popular many years ago, readily available, and reasonably priced. They were a bad choice though, as the pictures cannot be removed easily, and the albums do not offer proper protection. I found my large stuffed figure of Yoda, (a character that I am often considered to look like) and he now sits in the corner, watching over me. I discovered a printed copy of the short play I wrote, ‘City of Cranes’, and a selection of leaving cards from different jobs, signed by lots of different people. My entire life history is in boxes in a garage. I say this as a good thing, as it is all still with me, and I can choose what to keep for the time remaining.

I felt pretty good after all this sorting and shifting. I had made a dent in the pile of boxes, and I was finally getting on with something I should have done a long time ago. It was only a small dent though.


12 thoughts on “Making a dent in it

  1. Little steps Pete, little steps… I am also a book lover though did cull most of the paperback novels on my last move. I still won’t part with any travel books (even fiction) or garden books and we have a collection of reference books that probably could go to the charity shop now. We also have a few boxes of vinyl, some from my ex, which we don’t play though we do have a turntable. I was going through them to discard, but every time I picked one up I had to play it and found I still liked it! I tried copying to CD, but the sound quality wasn’t great and it takes ages, so I am still stuck with them.


    1. I have a large box full of vinyl albums still in the shed, as well as two Scweppes crates of vinyl singles in the loft. Like you, although I have the means to play them ( I forgot, that’s in the garage too!) I rarely if ever do.
      Despite having many of them duplicated on CD, I covet the vinyls, and have no good reason for doing so.
      Regards as always, Pete. x


  2. In this modern day, it’s no longer necessary to clutter one’s house with books, DVDs, and CDs (not to mention VHS and vinyl). Unfortunately, I began collecting them long before the advent of Kindle, Netflix, and Spotify. As a result, I also have a household of shelves stuffed with antiquated media with which I cannot bear to part. It may be old-fashioned, but I take pleasure in browsing my personal library of literature, music, and film. In so doing, I allow familiar titles to suggest themselves.

    In the case of books, I always note the last date read, and so, if a title piques my interest, I can determine if enough time has elapsed to justify rereading it. Now and then, of course, I discover books whose pages I’ve never turned, Recently, I found that although I remembered reading “Un cœur simple” in college, I had apparently never read “La Légende de Saint Julien l’Hospitalier” or “Hérodias,” the other two novellas in Flaubert’s “Trois contes.” I finished the book (all three novellas) on October 18th (so noted), and soon thereafter began reading for the first time a collection of Diderot’s writings (“Pensées philosophiques,” “Lettre sur les aveugles,” and “Supplément au Voyage de Bougainville”). Once I have given Diderot his due, I will note the date, and once again browse the shelves. Will I opt for popular, or once again go with classic? With over 800 titles (mostly in French) beckoning for attention, I have no way of knowing at this time!

    Whatever book I choose to read, it will eventually end up back on a shelf. And there it will sit, in full view, like a trophy of my literary initiative. As for DVDs and CDs, they may not represent any form of accomplishment, but they do instill pride of ownership, and, as with books, offer tangible clues to my identity in terms of my personal preferences.

    Unlike a list of downloads that can only be viewed on a screen, my library of books, DVDs, and CDs is an integral part of my environment. It not only speaks to me, but to anyone who crosses the threshold and enters into my world. It’s my clutter, and it’s here to stay.


    1. Like you David, I am from the pre-Kindle/Cloud generation. I actually like to look at the physical objects. I can read book jackets, CD liners with lyrics and photos, and enjoy the variety of colours and designs on the DVD boxes. I did consider putting all the music into a hard drive device, that will search my collection, or play songs randomly. It is a fairly expensive proposition though, and requires somewhere to site yet more hardware, with accompanying speakers.
      As for electronic books, I have found little pleasure in reading something in this way. It just doesn’t sit right with me. I still feel the need to turn a page, flick back to confirm a character, or refresh my mind about an event.
      We are on the same page as far as all this stuff is concerned!
      Best wishes from Norfolk, Pete.


  3. Your post was the first thing I saw when I opened WP a few minutes ago. I can visualize how your office looks now. You got me curious with the books, you must have so many in those boxes. I am planning to organize my shelves too and put the older ones on the lower shelves. The books I value are usually displayed in our living area and some are placed on the highest shelf. Like you, there are still so many books that I haven’t touched. I am guilty of being a book hoarder 🙂


    1. Most of the large hardbacks are non-fiction history Arlene. There is quite a large selection of books (and a few novels) about The American Civil War, English Civil War, and both world wars. I don’t have a lot of novels, but I have kept some of the ones that really stuck with me in the past. Then there are the reference books; maps, atlases, photography, etc. It is not so much the number of books, as the size of some of them. They wil be sorted eventually, now that the process has begun.
      Best wishes from England, Pete.


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