21 Jan 2010


We moved house earlier this month. The trick is not how to pack things, but to decide what to abandon.

Words of wisdom? Angela obviously did not think much of it. She thought my main contribution in the process was taking care of books. Of course, my simple response was the books were my only possessions.

When it comes to books, the selection is utterly simple. My rule of thumb was to bring only books that I would read again or I expected Angelina would read in the future. Most books did not fulfill these criteria. As an example, I only stared at the A Textbook of Medicine for five seconds. First, some contents were outdated. Second, it no longer represented the lousiest textbook of medicine. It should go.

In Noruwei no Mori (Norwegian Wood) by Haruki Murakami, Nagasawa said he only read books written more than fifty years ago. Life was short and one should not waste time on unworthy works that could not stand the test of time. On the other hand, for works that were worth reading, one could read them over and over again and never got bored. In fact, one could read any page at random and always be satisfied.

This view is obviously not welcomed. If everyone does so, how can authors earn a living? Nevertheless, when I looked at the bookshelves in our new home, most books were over ten years old. Not bad.

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