Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Moving and the Plight of Owning a Large Library

 I have now in my garage 120+ boxes just of books, all banker box sized because anything larger than that is a pain to haul (though I do use larger boxes for board games and lighter weight stuff). It's a lot of stuff! At 53 years of age I realize I have more books to read than I have time left on this planet, more games to play than I have any free time ever. I need to figure out what to do with this, or my family will be cursing my name at the wake. 

One fun exercise was establishing what not to pack before the time to move (later this month, presuming all goes as planned and we close on the house purchase around May 17th). Sometimes you get that moment of insight on what "really matters" when you are forced to consolidate and think carefully about what you both need and want access to in the coming weeks. For me, I effectively left out the core D&D 5th edition books, a copy of Cypher System, the Call of Cthulhu 7E core book, BRP,  Dragonbane, and the Traveller books. I had Savage Worlds out but ended up packing it, as it is very unlikely I'd be running it before I am fully moved in. I also now have the glorious deluxe boxed set of Mothership in hand (it arrived Monday), so that's staying unpacked for now while I absorb it. All of these are going into boxes for moving soon enough.....but not until mid May.

So if these aforementioned systems are the "core" of what I need to sustain gaming, then what the heck is going on with all those boxes? About 2/3rds of those boxes contain games. Many of them I know I am holding on to them purely for purposes of maintaining a collection, especially my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd edition D&D books and Pathfinder 1E tomes. I have collections I probably won't ever use, even if I enjoyed reading them at the time (Numenera comes to mind, as does most of what I have bought from Free League). I have a vast collection of Pathfinder 2E stuff which I think I have no further use for. I continue to play and enjoy the game, though less because I am enamored with the system and more because I enjoy gaming with my friends and the GM in question. For me....I kinda like the new revised PF2E but as a result I am not sure I need more than those core revised books now. All the rest of it? Probably best to find new homes for it.

Finding new homes for such a large volume of books is a pain in the ass, though. The hassle of assembling and shipping them anywhere is a nightmare, especially if selling it all on Ebay, though I did do that one summer a several years back and could do so again. I have thought about calling up local used book shops and inquiring if they purchase large volumes, such as an estate sale, and how they would go about doing that. 

I guess what I am trying to say is that while I know I will never reduce the collection down to zero (do not want to do that) I think 40 boxes would look a lot more realistic right now than 120 boxes. For the interim, though, I am stuck moving it to the new house when that time comes.....and who knows, maybe the much nicer, newer and more spacious house (it's a brand new house, too) will embolden me with its copious room for shelves and space. We'll see.*

*All of this is of course without considering the reality, which is that my son will likely confiscate a nontrivial chunk of my collection for his own purposes. He most recently absconded with my copy of the Fallout RPG and is now running it for his middle school group, and I think he has designs on my Alien RPG collection, too.


  1. We are moving too - but we are apartment dwellers. We are having a closet built for our games -over 100+; my old RPG stuff, notes, etc. will go to storage. We attend a few gaming conventions and I usually bring my unwanted/unplayed stuff to the auctions. It has worked out well over the last couple years.

    1. That is a really good idea. There aren't many conventions in my local area, almost none focused on gaming, but there are some scifi conventions, comic-cons and such that have large vendor areas. I'll look into the idea, thanks for the tip!