The other day I lost my book list. At that moment, my attachment to the list felt stronger than to any of the books on the list, probably because I couldn’t easily replace it at a Boarders or Barnes and Noble like I could all the others.
I was given a wake-up call when my family home caught on fire. Nothing is secure and it can all be lost in a breath. My collection of books, which at the time were very important to me, was damaged. Since then, I have kept a list of the title of every book I read and the month and year in which I read it.
Each time I document a book, its like a mini ritual which then frees myself from the “book object” and I can pass it on to the next lucky reader. No longer having any attachment to the book itself, the memory of reading it is enough.
The irony in loosing the list was apparent. My book list became the very opposite of its source ambition, failing completely to relieve myself of attachment on things. Instead of detached and at peace, when I lost the list, I was frantic. I felt like a piece of me was erased from history and the only way to get it back was to find the book list.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, I did find it. Had I not, I wonder if I would have started a new list, or if I would have seen loosing it as an opportunity for more freedom. Likely I would have started a new one. This time, not only documenting it in a notebook, but in a secure online database as well. Then, I would put an additional copy in a fireproof trunk to be stored at my parent’s house. I need more practice at this.