Yep. I've started packing. This may not sound like a big deal but you mustn't underestimate how intrinsically lazy I am and how very much I want to just snap my fingers like a much more dour Mary Poppins and have it all done and dusted.
I don't want to go through my 2,000 books and decide whether I can bring myself to cull any. I don't want to then decide which of my precious paper babies I will be leaving in storage and how many I can get away with taking to the Isle of Wight. I don't want to choose which Jesus pictures come with me and which have to lie face down in the cold, dark storage place. I don't even know where the storage place is. In a couple of weeks, men will arrive and will take my stuff and cast it into some vague abyss somewhere. Presumably it'll be alright, wherever it is.
So this time - the fourth time I've moved in 18 months - I'm being ruthless. I'm casting books out. Ones that I will never read again. Some that I just shouldn't read again.
I decided that old chick lit, old copies of the classics that I have multiple times, random thrillers and all self help could go.
I have only been through about 500 books. And this is probably a third of my self help library.
- The Dance of Anger - all about women's anger with stuff and things and men. Mostly men. Biased, narrow minded and totally pointless but quite good for when I properly hated all men for about five minutes.
- Staying Sane - Dr Raj Persaud basically lays out a shit tonne of patient stories about their messed up lives. It's really interesting in a rubber necking voyeuristic kind of a way and at least reassures you that no matter how shit you feel, there are apparently a gazillion people out there in much bigger messes than you. Unless he made them up. Which he might have done. Wasn't he one of those telly doctors? Is he even a doctor? Have I been swindled?
- He's Just Not That Into You - this American publishing sensation actually makes some pretty good points but as it was spawned by a Sex and the City writer who is smugly loved up with his wife, it's pretty hard to swallow. Still, it's pretty amusing but ever so 2003. Much better than the film. Obviously. The film was execrable.
- Overcoming Jealousy - I bought this when I was going out with a knobhead who told me it was all in my head. So I thought I better try and work out why I'm so irrationally jealous and 'ruining everything'. Turns out it wasn't irrational and he was fucking her. So, you know, swings and roundabouts. I'm not irrational and he was a dick. Don't remember what the book said, probably something along the lines of how you should never question your man ever and that it's a very unattractive trait.
- How To Quit Without Feeling Shit - bought it for my fag addiction, it said I should quit sugar and so I quit the book. Didn't even feel shit.
- On My Own - as far as I recall, it's about how its totes fine to be a single woman and you should embrace it and be all happy with it and all of that. Written by a woman who'd managed to get herself off the shelf though. Just in case you thought you could completely relax. Seriously. She spends lots of time mentioning 'before I was married', 'before I met my perfect man'. Oh do fuck offfff dear.
- Breaking the Bonds - actually a pretty good book about depression and the neural pathways that form and make it so very difficult to break out of the depressive mindset.
- Irrationality - one of those new breed of zeitgeisty not-a-self-help-book-but-it-is-really books that makes you question everything. Always written by male journos. Usually have a beard and are known for their sardonic wit.
- The Worry Cure - does not cure worry.
- Stress Buster - does not bust stress.
- The Last Self Help Book You'll Ever Need - says that all self help books are damaging bollocks. Might keep this one.
- How to Break Your Addiction to a Person - actually pretty damn handy for anyone who's in an emotionally abusive thing and can't work out why in fuck they keep going back to the greasy little tick at the centre of it. Helpful at the time and thankfully no longer necessary. Ever again.
- Self Esteem - turns out if you're suffering from a lack of it, books talking about it don't much help really. Very American and upbeat. Shudder. Guess what, not everyone IS special and different and amazing and beautiful, no matter how many mantras they chant at themselves in the mirror.
- The Single Trap - I think this was about all the things you do wrong to make men run away from you and how you fall into 'the single trap' and then has tips of how to get out of it and catch a man. Fuck off.
- TA Today - that's transactional analysis rather than territorial army. And very interesting it is too. Useful. Unculled.
- Understanding Psychology - I still don't.
I do like self help books. But it's time to let most of these go.