When I chose them
They came home willingly
Just one or maybe a stack of books
Chosen from various bookstores, the flea market
Or a free table at a yard sale
I had a reason for each one
And while I was working
I had a lot of them
Parting with some of them was painful when I moved
From California to New Mexico
But I took most of them with me

But when the time came to move from New Mexico
I had too many to move yet again
The librarians were delighted and I was sad
When I pulled up my car with 385 hardback and trade paperbacks
I gave away my Dragons of Pern series to a young girl who came with her parents
To buy our bedroom set
She saw the piles of books on the dining room table
Her eyes grew wide = she didn’t own any hardback books
But she loved to read
She left with several boxes

And now my house is for sale for yet another move
I need a smaller house
And I’m looking at my remaining books
Yesterday I started with one shelf
Selecting books for sale, for donation, to keep
It’s harder this time.
The feel of a book, the opening to the first page
Sliding my hand along the edge of the page
And knowing all the pages ahead of me lead to new ideas
New adventures, places that will stay in my mind
I made the mistake of opening the 1996 World Atlas
The maps show me places
I’ll never go, but with the map, I can imagine.

But my mind argues I have Google Maps.
I can search online anywhere and even get real street views of places
I want to see. Paintings of fantasy worlds abound.
I have my Kindle – my books are now in a small case
I can carry my library in one hand.

The battle in my mind and heart goes on.