by Mark S. Weiner On a winter afternoon in 2006, on my birthday, I gave away my library. The previous week, I owned so many books that I built teetering stacks of them on the floor of my study. I stored the overflow in my wife’s office, and on the shelves next to the treadmill, and downstairs, beside the television. I loved those books, each one, and I had spent countless hours in their company—some I had known for over twenty years. Just looking at them made me feel secure, as though all the supportive friends I had ever known were by my side, ready to offer me their wise advice and comfort. Then, after my wife and I crammed our ailing station wagon full of white shipping boxes, and drove to the local post office, and lifted each box to the chest-high counter, and watched an agent wheel them behind a wall, they were gone, on their way to a public library that had a use for them. Poof! The process was over surprisingly quickly.