Stanley Fish is getting rid of almost all of his books. Even the ones with all of those notes in the margins.
As someone who almost compulsively collected books for a long time, it’s impossible to imagine making such a move. Surrounding yourself with books is representative of a continued pursuit of something. Something new to learn, some new perspective, some new connection between rational choice theory and existentialist philosophy. Having a home library is symbolic, and, I’ll admit, aesthetically pleasing too. But it serves a practical purpose of having access to great minds and entire worlds- right in your own home.
Will there ever come a day when I, like Professor Fish, send the books away? After all, I’m not going to go on forever.