I sold four boxes of old books and magazines at the used bookstore last week, and this week got rid of three more boxes from the garage almost as expeditiously.
I'd found two boxes of material of my grandfather's that I'd taken after my mother and I cleared out his belongings after his death, and which I'd evidently never looked at, because I was surprised at how useless it all was for any purpose other than stoking his own memories. Bound volumes of the daily newsletters from cruises he'd taken in the 1950s. A scrapbook full of newspaper clippings from the year he chaired the local Community Chest. This was a campaign to raise money, but what it was to raise money for, the articles never did say. (It was for charities. This is what subsequently changed its name to the United Way.) The local paper was apparently so desperate for news items from the town's machers that they even printed a birth announcement for his first grandchild - that would be me - although my parents were living nowhere near the area at the time.
I knew from previous conversations that my brother would be interested in looking at this stuff before we discarded it. Instead, he just sealed it all back up again and took it away when he finally came over this week. He thinks his son, now only 7, will be interested some day.
Anyway, it's out of here. I'm old enough now that keeping stuff that I never use packed up because I might want to look at it someday is no longer really viable. That someday has arrived.
Also found and also out is a whole boxful of duplicate books about Tolkien and the Inklings, some of them rare pamphlet publications, that I gathered up to sell, or donate to the Mythcon auction, or something, years ago. I contacted a friend, or more accurately a friend-like acquaintance, who's in the Tolkien collector biz. He said he's retired from it, but when on request I sent him the contents list, he couldn't resist. He's no longer quite local, but he was in town this week so we met up in the parking garage of where he was doing his personal business, and he took it for a lot more money than I'd have gotten from the exceedingly de minimis bookstore.