Oh, how I miss you. Sort of.

Mr. Glib and I are nearing the end of a large-scale construction project. On our end, one of our responsibilities was unloading a pre-fab storage shed and sifting through everything before re-loading everything into a permanent storage structure. It was fun re-discovering high-school yearbooks, old photographs, and that Bundt pan I never could locate. Also re-opened? The proverbial Pandora’s box containing the ghosts of music past: 2-1/2 cardboard boxes full of compact discs. (Oddly enough, Aerosmith’s Pandora’s Box isn’t among my discs).

When I was in college, nothing in the tangible realm was more important to me than my CD collection.  Moving into the dorm, apartment, or sorority house each August, I would mount my CD racks on the wall and unload my collection – alphabetically of course – before I’d even make my bed or dust off my puffy-painted picture frames. Step two to every move-in was hooking up the CD player (and dual-cassette deck). A great portion of my allowance went toward CDs – new and used, popular and fringe. God, how I loved diving into a new set of liner notes and the feel of ripping off the cellophane and peeling off those annoying stickers. Remember when CDs used to come packaged in long rectangular cardboard boxes? Well, I used them as decorations.  I may still have the back side of Ugly Kid Joe’s “America’s Least Wanted” tucked in a folder somewhere.I digress.  So anyway, as that “15 influential albums” meme going around a few weeks ago reminded me, I have lost the appreciation of albums utterly and completely.  While the advent of MP3s has been an absolute wonder and all that I ever dreamed possible in my childhood, it has also wildly decreased my attention span. Even the few albums I do buy get listened to on a shuffle-play, mixed-up-playlist basis. The CD eradicated the decades-old concept of “Side One, Track One.”  MP3s have tossed the concept of “Track” anything.

I don’t need my albums anymore and I certainly don’t need my CDs. They are, sadly but simply, taking up space. I have every song converted and on my iPhone, backed up on my computer, and DOUBLE backed up on my Time Capsule.  Plastic and metal have no place in my life.  But can I really part with my prized collection, worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars at its peak? And yet, how prized can it be if I’ve been okay with having it in cardboard boxes for the past three-plus years?

Do I sort through, keeping only the albums I actually love and the bands I consider among my favorites? Do I take an old-school approach and display these CDs on a shelf somewhere, giving them the proper respect they used to command? Do I make a complex collage out of my favorite album covers or decoupage my coffee table with Duran Duran liner notes?  Or do I re-tape the boxes to avoid/postpone the emotional stress of it all?

And the biggest question of all … do I ever envision a universe where I’m facing a similar decision with my books because everything has been Kindle-ized?  I won’t ever let that happen. Who’s with me?

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