Books, oh how I’ve loved you but now its time to say goodbye

Ok…it’s gonna be hard…But it’s time. Time to get rid of all the paperback books of my youth. Not my childhood but the books I read in my 20s and 30s when I lived in NYC. I’ve never had room to unpack them in the 20 years that the boxes filled with them have been in Sweden.

When I first moved to Sweden 3o years ago, I rented out my apartment on New York’s Upper West Side for almost 5 years before I finally gave it up. I wasn’t ready to burn all my bridges and remove all possible chances of returning to the big apple just because I moved to another country. But it was just a rental and I couldn’t keep it since I didn’t own it, so after 5 years and a small baby, I finally had to admit that I wasn’t coming back.

As I interviewed moving companies, I started giving thought to what was coming with me and what was not. I gave away my air conditioner and my TV and pretty much everything I owned that needed to be plugged into an electric outlet. They wouldn’t work in Sweden so no point bringing them with me. The only electric things I was keeping was my ballerina lamp and an “antique” floor lamp. They could be rewired. My drafting table was nothing really special so that found a new home. Same with my big 4-drawer filing cabinet. My sofa was almost 10 years old and even though I loved it, it had seen better days so I got rid of it (though I can’t remember to who). I sold my ceiling fan, which was still lovely. I was down to bare bones furniture. My two chests of drawers and a night table that I had inherited from my parents were coming with me. My classic 1940s dining set painted black and with chrome trim from my parents was definitely coming with me too. Also the 2 wooden 1930s office armchairs. And that left just the rest of my stuff consisting of kitchen things, art supplies, fabric and books.

Our Stockholm apartment was small but we managed to move some of the furniture out of the packing crate and into our 2 and a half rooms. We found space for the chests of drawers, the dining table set and the wooden office chairs. Håkan rewired the two lamps so we could use them. Everything else stayed in their boxes in storage. Then in the winter of 98/99 we renovated our 2 small side-by-side apartments and combined them to make a 3-bedroom apartment with a large open plan kitchen/living/dining room with lots of kitchen storage. All my kitchen stuff from New York moved in. The old dining set moved out – its chrome details were so rusty by then that it didn’t seem worth it to keep. But the boxes filled with art supplies, fabric and books stayed packed away –  most of my art was being done on a computer by then; I had no time to sew, and shelf space was non-existent. Since then the boxes have been taking up space in the small office we rent next door to our apartment building. Or at least it was office space for a while but little by little became just mainly storage – starting with my own stuff and then the growing collection of stuff from dead relatives. Over the years, it also collected old computer screens and other outdated electronics, plus all the other junk left over from our lives. But now our co-op association has decided to not renew our lease on that space. We have till September to clear it out. OMG!

So now, I have begun opening boxes and taking stuff out. A whole box contained old almanacs filled with descriptions of what I had done and journals describing my life in even more detail. My black covered sketchbooks were there too. Another held font catalogs Art Director’s Annuals and other books related to the advertising life I led when last in New York. And four boxes were filled with all the paperback books that had entertained me in the 1970s and 1980s. Most were Science Fiction. Quite a few were Fantasy novels of one sort or another. And then there was the miscelleny of other assorted “normal” authors and novels.

But most of it is gonna go – to Myrorna (sort of like the Swedish version of the Salvation Army and Goodwill all rolled up in one) or maybe to people I know who like to read the sort of thing I do and still want paper books.

So If you live here in Stockholm (I’m not about to mail books to anyone) and see anything you like as you look through the gallery, let me know. Or if you want to see a pdf list of the books, I can send you one. If you want something from the collection let me know and we can meet up for fika and a book hand-off. You can leave a comment in the comment section, or if you know me (IRL) you can just contact me the usual way you usually contact me. Call me, Facebook messenger me or email me. But don’t wait too long. These books are moving on to new homes soon.

If you want to see a close-up of the photos just click on one.


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