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First World Problem 41

willa cather - first world problem 41 - 2

First world problem 41: what to do with my 1,000 books, which take up loads of space but happen to include decades worth of marginalia.

I’m obsessed with my new Nook e-reader. So much so that I want to kind of want to ditch all the bound, hardcopy books I own. I want to read everything on my Nook. Nook, nook, nook!

But still I love my books. Whereas some people might line their shelves with vases and knickknacks, I stack mine with Tolstoy and Shakespeare and Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Larry McMurtry and Yeats and Alice Walker and Willa Cather and William Styron. I’m down to around 1,000 books. In fact, I gave away around 1,000 when I moved into my loft. Trust me, it was a big, damn, heart-wrenching deal. Truth is, I like to look at my books. I like to know they’re there.

A lot of amazing and fascinating and curious and headstrong people live on the pages of my personal library. A lot of people I once understood nothing about and now understand everything about.

And there’s something else stopping me from getting rid of my books. Marginalia. See, though I’d never think of dog-earring a page, I do write in my books. Lots. Surely I’m not going to ship my sage literary insights and thoughtful close reading analyses to the fine folks at Goodwill, right?

Oh, marginalia.

And that’s first-world problem 41.

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