Husband and I are working on what knitters like to call “destashing”–downsizing the amount of stuff you have so that you can enjoy what you do have more thoroughly.  Knitters use this term when the amount of yarn they have overwhelms their creative space.  You can destash by trading, selling, or knitting up the yarn you already have.

Since we moved in a year ago, Husband and I have been shuffling our stuff from one room to another, trying to fit all of our possessions into a small space.  Needless to say, it hasn’t worked.  Now we’re working on destashing our book collection.  Amazon has a great trade-in program for textbooks.  We’ve gone through our collection to organize and consolidate many years worth of accumulation.  Thus far, the results have been great.  We have more space on our bookshelves for the new books we’ll need for class and have saved some money in the process.

The experience has left me thinking about material culture.  As an academic, I sometimes feel that I am judged by the number of books I have in my home at any given moment, regardless of whether I have read them or enjoyed them.  Under this definition, success is measured by the quantity of books on erudite subjects on your bookshelf.

As I prepare for the NASSR conference next week, I will be thinking of our destash efforts as I attend book exhibits.  I can’t say that I won’t buy any books–but I’ll also be writing down names and authors to check out at the library when I return.