I drove all the way to Mesa BY MYSELF last week. My first solo road trip in years. I had six boxes of books that I was ready to divest myself of. I took a few to our local used bookstore for store credit but still had more than one hundred books that I needed to find a home for.
After much debate with myself over the merits and work of trying to sell on ebay or craigslist and exploring selling to Powell’s on-line I stopped and had a think. The goal was to clear out the house a bit, not make money. Of course a little extra cash right before Christmas is always nice too. But I really didn’t want to spend the next six weeks trying to sell books.
In the end I decided to take my books to Half Price Books in Mesa. I knew they would take everything and I probably wouldn’t make much money but the books would be gone and I would get a little cash. My hope was to get between $100 and $150 dollars. Plus I would have the added bonus of a little me time in the car.
Mesa is about a 2 hour drive. I figured I would leave about 9:00a, about an hour to sell the books, have lunch somewhere and maybe stop at the new outlet mall on the way home. Everything pretty much went according to plan.
I found the store with only one u-turn. (In my world road trips always include at least one u-turn.) Half Price Books bought almost every book with just a few slated for the recycle pile. I was very excited to see that and was starting to think more money. Especially when the woman apologized for it taking so long because I had so many good books. But alas the total was only $90. I felt a bit disappointed but reminded myself of my goals and hoped others would find pleasure in reading these books I was no longer interested in.
Starting the drive home I felt sort of hollow inside. Had I just made a huge mistake? I had expected to feel exuberant, thrilled with my “konmari” progress, happy for some “found” money. I left the radio off for awhile and puzzled over my feelings. Maybe I was just sad to be letting go of some of my past? Irritated at the thought that I would never have gotten rid of any books if I still lived in Montana in a house with several huge built-in floor to ceiling bookshelves? Anxious about the step I had just taken toward my future small dream home?
I never had an aha that’s the answer moment. Most likely my feelings are some combination of all of the above. I decided to stop at Cracker Barrel for a late lunch. I love browsing the store and thought it would cheer me up. I had the fish special and afterwards took my time looking at everything in the store but I wasn’t tempted to buy anything. I skipped the outlet mall too. I am not really much of a shopper anyway and I felt exhausted. I went to bed early still puzzled by my post book selling reaction.
I feel better today but disappointed that I didn’t have a more euphoric experience. My reaction to life is so strange sometimes.