Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Divesting More

Originally posted on August 23, 2016

I have tons (literally) of books, and am an admitted bibliophile—but I’m app-roaching treating my desire as a mild addiction, sometimes called “biblioholism,” and undertaking a program of divesting. It’s difficult, and full of discoveries.

I have attachments to categories of topics that I am coming to recognize that I shall not revisit. There are variable degrees of clingy-ness to these, some stronger and some less so. One of those categories, for example, is military history. As a youth, I was interested in military battles and history, conquests and all. It compensated for my fear of being beaten up by others. I pretended I was a general coordinating battles. I played with flat-topped screws of various types, pretending they were soldiers. (They were available from my father’s jars of screws.) There were many more of them than model soldiers, and they could play many roles. Their posture wasn’t determined—they just lined up.

But war topics wore out, especially since I reviewed the field more recently in my late 70s.. I realized, first, that I would never be so educated about so complex and multi-faceted a topic that I could teach about it. Nor, I realized further, did I especially want to do so. I liked history, and military history—or used to—but this role (albeit partly fantasized) wore out. It got thin, first, so the books were hidden on a bottom shelf by laundry baskets!

Today I decided to give ‘em away or sell ‘em. Yuk! But that’s how some attach-ments, once so dear to my unconscious, became a bit ego-alien. As a verse from “Both Sides Now” goes, “Something’s lost and something’s gained by living every day—or in this case—decade. Other categories will float to the surface as I gently stir the soup of my acquisitions.

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