Hedonistic Ascetic

“Mom, I’ve got most of the books sorted and packed,” I said, sitting at the kitchen island. “But I think I’m going to come up with a new book rule.”

I love books. I always have. My last apartment in Atlanta had huge built in bookshelves in the dining room and I filled them all. Before I left for Korea, however, I got rid of about a quarter of my books. In the last few weeks, I’ve gone through my books again. I almost didn’t as they were already packed, but I decided to look at which books I’d kept. Only to discover…that I wanted to gt rid of another quarter of them. (I also got rid of all of my undergraduate papers yesterday. Damn, I wrote a lot to get my philosophy degree!)

I explained my new system. “I have a lot of books I haven’t even read yet. When I unpack them, I’m going to decide if they’re one or two year books. If I haven’t read them in that time, they’re going to charity. This is excepting all of my books in Swedish, of course.”

Mom nodded and I said, “I’m starting to get…what’s that word?” I found my reverse dictionary and found the word. “Ascetic.” I thought, “OK, except not in a religious way. But in a ‘not wanting what the media tells me I’m supposed to want as an American’ sort of way.”

“Except you like waxings, Clarins…” my mom teased.

“Yeah, I’m a hedonistic ascetic!”