Sunday, June 22, 2008


Garage sale season is in full effect around Valparaiso and yesterday was the one for our neighborhood. 56 houses were participating with ads in a variety of papers complete with maps and the like. We weren't planning on participating but our neighbor had so much stuff that we opened up our garage to her and then decided we might as well get rid of some stuff. It came at a perfect time, as we were at the point of needing to figure out a new storage plan for all of our CDs and books and comics. Instead, we went through and culled.

I used to have a real problem getting rid of anything...I didn't even want to get rid of issues of the various comics magazines I had (never know when you might need to refer to it!). I've gotten better at it over the years and purging my entire collection of comics back in the early 2000s (well, all of the single issues anyway) helped me be more receptive to it. In a perfect world, I would keep everything but we just don't have the space. Nowhere close to the space. In any event, I've been able to get rid of comics and books fairly easily since then but the one area I still couldn't get past was music.

I think my reluctance to get rid of CDs comes from 1994 when I got rid of a ton of CDs during one of my biggest depressed periods. I got rid of all my Springsteen and Dylan albums as well as a bunch of other stuff that I subsequently spent a couple years reassembling. It made me a bit gunshy with the whole idea. However, we just had too many CDs around here and I went through them. If I knew I hadn't listened to an album in years, I should get rid of it. If I could look at the song titles and not conjure a single song to mind, it was time for it to be gone. Albums I kept trying to warm up to and never could? Gone. The big step of getting rid of albums by artists I liked and kept other albums from? Done. For example, the first three Weezer albums were kept and the rest were not. And yes, I could have converted all of them to mp3s but it seemed like a waste of hard drive space and time; I did convert about a dozen CDs in the end, though. Some stuff seemed more suited for that format (I also went through the digital files and deleted stuff I just didn't listen to outside of random appearance on the Sunday Shuffle).

In the end, Jill and I put out over 125 CDs and 90 books for sale. I put out about 50 trade paperbacks and maybe 80 single issues of comics. We saved ourselves a lot of room (don't worry, we still have plenty of stuff) and ended up making some decent money. Rain kept some of the business away yesterday, so we are going to try again next Saturday morning and I hope to get rid of as much of it as we can.

That purge has bled over into my pop culture intake as well. Late last week I'd checked three books out of the library, one I had requested and two I grabbed on the spur of the moment. Just too much. I've also been in the habit of putting any book that seems interested on my request list and I just can't do that. I need to go back to grabbing one book at a time, maybe two, and just letting my interest at the time lead me. So, I took all three books back realizing I may check out one or more of them again in the future. For now, though, I'm content to work my way through the pile of 6 trades and 5 SF magazines. Feels good.

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