A few days ago I heard the comedian Corrine Grant talking on Radio National about her new book, Lessons on Letting Go – Confessions of a Hoarder. I like to think of myself as more of a collector but nevertheless my interest was piqued. So much so that as I was packing to come down to Canberra for the week I threw in the book my thoughtful number one son had given me for Christmas, Sorted – The ultimate guide to organizing your life – once and for all by Lissanne Oliver.
I was aware that of late I had started to pick up the odd bit of furniture – again – the odd piece de resistance that I didn’t need or have room for but liked, that I could see potential in. The problem being, I had a truck load or two of the very same when we arrived from Canberra eight months ago to our new, much smaller house in Queensland, and I’ve been trying to get rid of it all ever since. I vowed my collecting days were over. I wanted to travel lightly through life, free of excess baggage – I still do. But then I found my local demolition/collectables centre – and what a find that’s been.
Anyway, I have been reading Sorted and can’t wait to get home and get sorted. Really. It makes so much sense. When you get something new, throw something old out, that way things don’t ever get out of hand, apparently. Of course there’s much more to it but I have to read more.
So renewed is my commitment to getting sorted that when my husband suggests after dinner that we stroll around to our favourite book store, I decline. “No, I have lots of books at home I haven’t read yet,” I tell him. (We have also given away enough books in the past 6 months to start a second hand book shop, which I’m now thinking mightn’t have been such a bad idea.) “Too bad, it’s our tradition,” he says. And he’s right, it is, or it was. Going there after dinner was also one of the great pleasures of our life. How could I refuse? “OK, let’s go and just look,” I say.
Five books later we are ready to leave. I knew this would happen – it always did. Mind you, they’re not all for me. David chose the latest Martin Cruz Smith – an Arkady Renko novel set in Russia, and we both love this series, well we collect it actually. Conor chose Reckless by Cornelia Funke but I would have bought him anything with words. He is not what you’d call an avid reader – what were the chances of that? I decided to grab Stephanie Dowrick’s Choosing Happiness because I’ve been meaning to for a while, and could not have left the store without the new Isabel Dalhousie novel by Alexander McCall Smith. Such warm, feel-good stories. Last but not least, how could I not pick up a copy of Lessons in Letting Go? I’ll let you know how I go.