What happens when book-lovers move

Guest Blogger  //  Dec 18, 2019

What happens when book-lovers move

What’s every book lover’s worst nightmare? Moving. When two of our OOM bloggers packed up their apartments this fall, we HAD to get the details. Here are Emily and Gina to talk about what it was like to box up their bookshelves, earmark beloved books for donation, and unpack:


When my husband and I first started talking about moving across the country to Colorado, my book collection always seemed to come up.

I’ve written before about our organizational differences (he’s an alphabetizer and I’m an organized-by-genre person) and our solution — new bookshelves! — as well as the fact that we got *married* in a bookstore, so my book-loving (okay, maybe hoarding) tendencies are nothing new to him.

“You HAVE to get rid of some,” he’d say every day. And when we eventually ended up booking a (very small!) U-Haul trailer for our cross-country move, I finally had to agree. Over the course of a few weeks, I lugged eight bulging tote bags from my apartment in Queens to Housing Works Bookstore in Manhattan to donate. And even after The Great Purge of 2019, I STILL had seven full boxes of books that I just couldn’t part with.

My favorite of those boxes? The one fully dedicated to my Harry Potter collection. My non-Potterhead family members really didn’t understand that one. “Why do you need multiple versions of the same books?” they asked me repeatedly. In response, I would show them the stunning covers by Kazu Kibuishi for the series’ 10th anniversary; line up the Brian Selznick 20th anniversary editions to create the incredible, continuous image; and flip through the stunning illustrated editions by Jim Kay. Plus then there are my original copies of the books — tattered book jackets and stained pages and all — how could I possibly get rid of ANY of those?

I’m happy to report that I got my way, and all of my boxes of books (which filled the entire front of our U-Haul) made it safely to our new home in Colorado, which truly didn’t feel like home to me until those books were unpacked and sitting cheerily on our brand new bookshelves.


When my husband and I purchased our first home this summer, we were excited, of course. But I was specifically excited at the prospect of having so much more space for all of my STUFF.

For eight years we lived in a railroad style apartment in Jersey City, New Jersey; friends who lived in New York City would visit and be shocked at how much space we had. And while it was pretty large for what we were paying, the bulk of my books, CDs and knick-knacks were still in my old childhood bedroom at my parents’ house. So when we started to pack to move to the suburbs, I greatly underestimated what we had crammed into that one bedroom.

Despite only having two IKEA Billy bookcases in our apartment, we must have packed over a dozen boxes with just books. While my husband will sometimes purchase e-books or audiobooks, I never have – hence why my book collection was also on the top of the bookcases and went all the way up to our ceiling. I trimmed what I could and donated some to the Little Free Library in Hamilton Park and Sunday book drive at a local church, but I didn’t get rid of much.

Once we officially moved into to our home and said good-bye to Jesrey City, my parents asked when I would empty out my old bedroom. The prospect loomed large. We had scrapped the bookcases from our apartment and were slowly buying all new furniture – which we quickly filled up with what we brought from Jersey City. Over Thanksgiving, I started to go through what I had left behind at my parents’ house eight years ago, and I decided to not to bring a lot of it with me to the house. But, for every box we’ve unpacked, it seems I’ll be replacing it with another. The unpacking never ends!

As Emily and I recounted our moving experiences, we realized we both packed a “Harry Potter” box. While her book boxes are featured in the header image above, below is photographic evidence of how I labeled my most precious cargo!

Emily Morrow; Gina Asprocolas