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I’m coming up to a big move, and as such I’m faced with the problem of cramming everything I own into the back of a van. A big part of the solution, as it has been every time before, is to reduce the amount of stuff that I actually own.

The first to go were the many binders of notes I have collected over my undergraduate career. When the course is freshly over it’s sometimes hard to part with these, especially since most of the courses I’ve taken had a Part Two hot on their heels. Now that there are no more Part Two’s, the hardest part was hauling the bag of paper down to the curb on recycling day.

Textbooks were a similar case. I went to Haven Books Haven Books about a week ago to drop off about 15 textbooks ranging from anthropology and ethics to astrophysics and quantum mechanics. A select few—those which may be a legitimate resource in graduate school—are still on my bookcase. The fun thing about Haven was that with each textbook consigned, if the same book already exists at the store they tell you what it’s price is. One book I was going to sell for $10 was already there for $40. Ok, I thought, I might as well raise my price to $20—I still wanted it to sell, after all. Another, which I was putting on for $5, was there already for $20. Again, I could have raised the price, but considering that the book retails brand new for only $15, I didn’t think it was a smart move.

The really fun part has come today, after having put some things on craigslist. Who knew that minidiscs were in such high demand? And from middle aged immigrants no less! I’ve had no fewer than five phone calls in the four hours since the ad went live, all with different European accents, all wanting me to deliver, and a few strong opinions about proper craigslist etiquette.

Apparently, as I was told by one particularly cranky guy, it shouldn’t matter that I’ve already promised the MDs to another guy and am simply waiting for him to pick them up. It should be first come, first served. Personally I wonder how the rules of shotgun could be adapted to this situation. Are transactions which happen primarily by telephone subject to the line-of-sight rule, for example? In any case, as I’m the owner of the goods in question, I think it’s only fair that I set the rules of sale. I told him to call back tomorrow and if they’re still here they’re his. Maybe I should be more strict and demand that until the money is in my hands, no sale has been made.

As long as I avoid someone showing up at my door to collect something that is no longer here, I’ll be happy.

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