A nomad threw a thousand books in the trash can

At the end of 2014, I decided to live a ‘minimalist’ life in the future. I was in my late fifties at the time. This decision had no ‘catastrophic’ reasons (such as traumatic private experiences, or whatever), but this idea had grown over decades, culminating then at the time of a business change and a related move to a completely different area of Germany (namely to Bavaria) in this change of my lifestyle. I know and love the Bavarian culture and the mentality of this people there for decades, and believe that I will spend the rest of my (so far extremely interesting) life there. Of course I don’t really know that. Who knows what else will happen in life? Maybe I’ll live in NYC later, which I love very much now? Or even in China (I’ve got really good friends there)? Or in Italy (for example in Venice, which is practically my second homeland)? Or wherever! I am, as they say, an ‘outlawed’ man. In fact, I’m even a ‘nomad’, as my last (the second) great love in life has made clear to me. She, an absolutely wonderful woman by the way, which for truly tragic reasons I lost forever after only a quarter of a year, is just like me a real nomad (as she calls herself in her blog); actually in the true sense of the word. It’s useless here to talk about this woman; she is (like me) a writer, and I adore her very, very much.
If you want to live ‘minimalist’ in the age of smartphones (and even Kindle), you don’t need ‘physical’ books anymore. “Fie”, say all older contemporaries. What about the ‘haptic’ experience! What about the feeling of turning over ‘real’ pages of paper and feeling the paper at the tips of your fingers? What about the wonderful smell of this paper? Especially the paper from older books that has spent a few decades in antiquarian bookshops? That was one of the smells that accompanied my childhood. What about this irreplaceable experience? Electronic media can never replace this! No way!
Life, and in this case I mean life with books in particular (and what would it be worth without them?) may only be comparable with a very long journey, which can be done either on the back of a horse or in a brand new luxury car. The smell of the horse, the feeling of the wind, the rain, the air, the elemental movement; the feeling of being part of the sphere of this unique planet; the basic feeling of life, so to speak, is of course totally lost if you choose to ride in a car. But: you also win something: in my new BMW, for example, you feel warm and secure when it’s very cold outside; and when it’s extremely hot outside, you don’t like to get out. And, if a wonderful woman is sitting next to you then you can touch her. And you can kiss her. You can feel, smell and taste her. Whenever you want. She can touch your nose with her intimate smell, so that you almost lose your senses, and immediately have to stop at the next parking lot. Then you can forget the best old book shop for a while!
Well, I thought I could give my innumerable books (there were a lot more than a thousand) to somebody, or maybe a second-hand bookshop. I didn’t want to earn any money with it (although some of them was very nice old books). I would have given these books to anyone who picked them up, and I tried it for many weeks; with newspaper ads, and via eBay. But not a single person was interested. One person contacted me and offered to “dispose of my books”. I had to pay a few hundred Euros to get this company to dump my books. Isn’t that a shame?
Later I got used to the electronic media; and now I constantly have a lot of books in my smartphone with me. This is really comfortable. And when I’m sitting alone in a restaurant, no gust of wind can turn the pages when I read. On one occasion I even had a very funny experience: I read in a very old-fashioned paper book and watched myself as I “clicked” a strange word for a long time to find out its meaning. It took me seconds to realize that there is no link from a paper book to the global world.
The smell of an antique bookstore will forever be the best thing a book lover can smell. Okay, I have to correct myself: the second best! The smell of a woman who loves this book lover is of course infinitely much better !!
Do you know what I mean?