Today I let go of my copy of Anna Karenina. I donated it to my library. I got the book a week ago. I’d only read about thirty pages of what is an 800 + page book. I realized it wasn’t for me, so I let go of it so someone else could read the book.
The interesting thing is I had a strong feeling to buy and read the book. I’d never read any books by Leo Tolstoy. But I’d heard he was a great writer. I’d heard it was one of his greatest books. I’d also heard a story about how Theodore Roosevelt read the book in his tent at nights by candlelight when he was living out on the range. For some reason that image resonated well for me.
So I ordered the book online and got all excited waiting for it to arrive. It showed up in the mail. I took the book out of the mailer and held it in my hands, and thought, “Let’s begin a great adventure.” I started reading the book, and had a sense right away that Tolstoy’s way of writing didn’t ring my bell. This was so contrary to what I was expecting. I kept reading, hoping that my discomfort was wrong in some way. But as each page went by, I felt like I was trying to walk through two-foot high snow on a dark and frigid night.
I thought, “How can this be happening? So many other people like this book.” And that’s when I knew for certain that it was clutter for me. I know from working with clients that people often are surprised when they don’t like something that is popular with other people. I think that’s from being taught that it’s important not deviate from the pack. We’re raised to think socially. To take what others are thinking and doing in consideration before ourselves. We’re not trained to honor ourselves first.
Once that became clear, I knew that Anna Karenina was library bound. I took that picture when I was handing over the book to the librarian. I told her that the picture and this post would encourage people to donate their unwanted books to libraries.