The Ugly Naked Side Of Expat Life

I am booksick. I miss my books. A LOT.

One of the downsides of expat life is that you can never get too attached to a single thing. Because you never know when you may have to sell it or dump it. Or it may get broken during the move. It’s part of the adventure. The ugly naked part that nobody talks about. Unlike people who have lived in the same house for twenty years, we don’t get to keep every single report card and fill our attic with old toys and baby clothes as memories. We just don’t have the space or luxury to do so.

One of my favourite childhood books !
One of my favourite childhood books !

When I used to buy books, I made sure to think it through. Because there were many that I had to give up during our move from KSA to Qatar. So when we went to Pakistan for holidays after that summer, I took the majority of my books there. They are all nicely packed in cartons with Neem leaves, to protect them from dust and insects. But I regret that over the years. I wanted all my books in one place. Soon enough, I had another collection of books in my cupboard.

When I got married, I decided to let the books I had, stay at my mom’s place. Because I am always buying books. It just made sense to start over and have more in your collection. A few months ago, I went back and packed all the books in my room because they were gathering dust.

These are the top three shelves of my current bookshelf.
These are the top three shelves of my current bookshelf.

I already have the shelf in my current room, filled 90% with books. I know that the decision of leaving books in Pakistan and at my moms house was right. I simply do not have the space to keep them all here.

For some reason, right at this very second, I miss my books. I want to build a wall to wall shelf in my room and keep all my babies together. They are all so far apart, in different countries, in different cartons, waiting for their moment of glory. This is the moment where I envy people who have lived in the same place for ten years and have the luxury of building custom shelves. Their books are all in one place, proudly portraying the family that lives there.

If only this expat life did not come with such compromises.

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