On Leaving America – Part 6



We’re getting rid of books. Not fun. Both Lou and I are avid readers. She’s a psychotherapist and reads such fascinating tomes as: Essays on Advanced Phenomenology, and one of my own favorites, Theories of Neuropsychology. Real page turners. She also reads fiction in both Swedish and English. Big Stieg Larson fan of course. She turned me on to Henning Mankell. I am too embarrassed to admit how many Pattersons I’ve read and can’t recall the plot of any. They were fun to read, something to pass time on the plane books. Been through all of  Steven King’s work. Those plots I remember . . . Cormac McCarthy. I’ll keep those and doubt I’ll ever look a them again—shelf decorations. I have drifted into talking books – CDs. I run one novel in the car. CDs and tapes turned my commuting hell to not-so-bad when I was working, and I’ve kept the habit. There’s another story going on an Ipad by the couch at home. I listen for an hour or more with a martini, and there’s still another novel on a player I keep by the bed. It’s better than a sleeping pill—like mother reading to you, only better at it. I’ve got hard back books as well. Were getting rid of hundreds and it isn’t fun to take them to the Goodwill store. More sorrow born of parting. Buddha would describe this as attachment to sense objects. An addiction to get over.

Not so easy letting go. The only other option is to throw them all away. Surely the Buddha would not approve at such waste. I wonder why there’s such attachment to the things. In some dark recess of my mind there is the thought, “I’m going to read this again someday. When I get old and there is nothing else to do. This book holds information I might need some day.” Right—like I couldn’t find it on Google. Some books have waited for reopening over 40 years—untouched. Perhaps being a writer causes some kind of psychotic bonding, an obscure respect for the printed word.

If anyone of you live in Seattle, we’ve a bunch of  Swedish books on the way out, most mainstream literary fiction, and some poetry.

It isn’t easy getting rid of books.

About Bruce Louis Dodson

Bruce Louis Dodson is an American expat now living in Borlänge, Sweden with his wife, cat and dog. He is an artist and world traveler who writes fiction and poetry and practices photography in his less than copious free time. His work has appeared in: Barely South Review - Boundaries Issue, Blue Collar Review, Pulsar Poetry (UK), Foliate Oak, Breadline Press West Coast Anthology . The E-buffet, Qarrtsiluni, Struggle Magazine, Pearl Literary Magazine, Contemporary Literature Review: India, 3rd Wednesday, Sleeping Cat Books - Trip of a Lifetime Anthology, Northern Liberties Review, Authors Abroad - Foreign & and Far Away Anthology, The Path, Page & Spine, The Crucible, Sleeping Cat Books -Trips of a Lifetime, Vine Leaves, Pirene's Fountain,Tic Toc Anthology - Kind of a Hurricane Press, Cordite Poetry Review, Buffalo Almanac and mgv2.
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5 Responses to On Leaving America – Part 6

  1. Know the feeling. I’ve just written my blog on books and bookcases!

  2. Jeanne says:

    Bruce, wonderful commentary. It expresses many of my feelings exactly, from attempting to sort through the shelves in the attack to the guilt trip to the Goodwill store. A pleasure to see what you have coming through the ether. Best, jeanne

  3. Skin Head says:

    Kagnew Station and the Star Bar wait for you.

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