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  • Writer's pictureIlena Alvarez

The Great Purge

Updated: Jul 11, 2023


Hello! I hope this blog post finds everyone in a good place. During the pandemic, it felt like it was go-go-go and I haven't had a chance to contemplate what this last year and a half has meant to me and to all of us, globally. That's actually the comforting part -- that we have all experienced this separately, but together in a lot of ways.


And this leads me to The Great Purge. During this strange panini, I bought a lot of books. The manager of my local Barnes and Noble, and the lovely folks at Books and Books in Miami, now know me by name. Looking back, it was certainly my coping mechanism. Above and below is just a sampling of books I own. If you're thinking "duh," how can you not see that buying all these books may not be the healthiest way to cope, I think we may all agree that it isn't the unhealthiest.

But I have changed. The books do not bring me the same comfort. Just the opposite. Sometimes I feel like they are swallowing me whole. It's too much.


Now, don't get me wrong; I am still in love with books. Books are woven into my internal tapestry. When I was very young, my mother used to take me to the library in Hialeah, the John F. Kennedy Library, and I would return all the books I checked out from the previous week, and peruse and grab all new titles that interested me. The librarians were my friends and the library was my castle. I read The Count of Monte Cristo when I was in 5th grade, I read The Stand in 8th grade, and looking back, I had no business reading those books at such a young age.


An author who is my age once said that during her childhood, there were very few selections of middle grade and young adult books, which is absolutely true. It was Ann Martin's Babysitters Club and Katherine Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia, straight to Stephen King or John Grisham: no in-between.


But now I want to cut back and explore a minimalistic life. And that means I have to purge, Purge, PURGE. And all of these wonderful books will be donated to the bookstore for all of you to appreciate. It brings me great joy to think that you all will be finding new-to-you books through my donations.


And that's the way it should be. We should all be impacting each other in small but cheerful ways because without each other, life is that much harder and dull.


It is a very odd time in my life but I feel fulfilled. I am so excited to be a part of this Board and to be able to give you a slice of my mind through these posts. It turns out that a Japanese consultant is what I needed. I never thought I would employ the Marie Kondo method, yet, here we are.

I hope you all enjoy. As always, I hope you all stay safe and sound! The Holidays are upon us and it can be a sad time for some, and for others, a time of joy. You can reach out to others if you are having a difficult time and you can reach for a book to bring you solace. I hope for the best for all of you out there.


(Not all of the books pictured will be donated. I am still working on my donation stack and so far, it's about 70 books.) Thank you to Tracy Wasserman, the most amazing President of this Board, for donating the idea for this post!


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