Recently I realized something new in my life…I haven’t bought a book or CD for myself since I don’t know when.

Porter and I lived with hundreds of books and thousands of comic books. We had a room wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling with record albums. A walk-in closet was filled with over 700 mix-tapes made from those albums. Our long hallway was lined with books and a storage unit held the comics. The rest of our place was crammed with our collections: snow globes, travel souvenirs, Happy Meal toys, and whatever ephemera seemed cool to us at the time. After Porter passed away, I moved to a smaller place and had to scale-down. I also found the things we had collected together too sad to live around, so I jettisoned most of it and started over.

I moved into a new place and decided this time to focus on quality instead of quantity. I worked with a designer friend and we created a beautiful, minimal faux-Asian home with some very nice pieces. I gradually gathered a bunch of books and CD’s, but this time they were hidden away all over the place. When I got sick, I lost almost all of it. I know some furniture is on-loan at a dear friend’s place, but most of everything else is just gone and I can’t remember where it went.

Now I’m living with The B-Man and starting over again. This time I find I don’t feel the need to buy the book I want to read, instead, I go to the library. I order it from their website, they send me an email when it’s available and I can renew it on-line. Even with all the high-tech, there’s something delightfully retro about using the library. I’m reading just as much as I ever did, but now don’t have a book I’ve finished taking up shelf space.

As for music, there’s so much great free and legal music on the web I’ll probably never buy another CD for myself. I have the most fantastic iTunes music collection with more songs than I ever had with a room full of records.

The WFMU mp3 blog points me to many of my new favorite songs. That’s where I found this wonderful horn-honking, clangy James Brown-like gem from Happy Monsters. Try and find this on CD.

Consider building your own digital music library and supporting your local library. You’ll have more space and a lot less to pack up and move later.

Happy Monsters – Clap Your Tentacles (2:46)