in which we do something i thought i'd never do: say goodbye to our vinyl

Through all our years together, and all the different places we have lived, Allan and I have hung on to our large collection of vinyl LPs.

Most people I know who are old enough to have lived in the vinyl era stopped listening to LPs with the advent of CDs, and got rid of their LPs some time after that. We never understood this. We couldn't possibly re-buy all these albums on CD, so why wouldn't we keep them?

We must have weeded some duplicates when we first moved in together -- although we still have at least four copies of "Exile on Main Street" (one is autographed by Keith). The core of my own collection was inherited from older siblings, so dates back to the early '70s.

We did replace well-worn favourites with discs over the years, but even then we kept the LPs. Of course we have much of our music digitally now, but still. No vinyl left behind.

And now, suddenly, I'm OK with it. With an impending move to the other side of the continent, I'd like to lighten our load  -- both for moving, and for how much space we need to live. Allan would rather cull the collection down to essentials. But I don't want a small LP collection. I want our collection or none.

Before we make any drastic moves, we're cataloging all the titles, so I can see what we already have on CD, what we need to download, and what's not worth keeping in any form. Do I really need "Frampton Comes Alive" and "Rumours"? When was the last time I listened to Yes? Good lord.

Amazingly, I also suddenly feel ready to really downsize, which means the unthinkable -- getting rid of large quantities of books. I love books as much as I ever have, but I no longer feel the need to own them. This is not a battle I would ever win, so I'm not taking up the cause. For his part, Allan is scanning mountains of paper, as hard drives take up a lot less space.


Anonymous said...

Longtime reader/lurker here. :) My husband & I (no kids) downsized from a 1200 foot house (plus basement, garage & garden shed) to a 875-square-foot condo two years ago, & got rid of a TON of stuff before we moved. (We called 1-800-GOTJUNK twice -- on one visit, they had to take the truck back to their depot, unload it & then come back for the rest of the stuff...! -- and we made dozens of trips to the local Salvation Army store/dropoff centre ourselves.) I still have four IKEA bookshelves full of books in our second bedroom/office (they take up one full wall), but we still got rid of a ton of books -- I lost count at 60 liquor store cartons full that we hauled to the Salvation Army, & I am sure there are more. We passed along my old stereo (with turntable & cassette player) and our vinyl collection (150-200 LPs from the 1960s through early 90s, but mostly from the 70s & 80s) to our nephew, who is in his 20s. The vinyl had mostly been gathering dust in our basement anyway, & he'd been buying all these vinyl LPs for ridiculous sums (that I'd bought in the 1970s for $5!)... I told him "DO NOT buy anything else until you check with us first, because chances are, it's in our basement!" He was THRILLED when we gave him the whole collection! (I catalogued all my titles & compared them vs my CD collection before I passed them along too.) Good luck!

Amy said...

Wow, I can't believe Allan is willing to do this since I know he's the bigger packrat of the two of you. We still have many of our LPs, but we never had that many. Some just have sentimental value. Others are just sitting in our basement because we didn't get rid of them. Books were a much bigger problem when we moved. We donated hundreds and hundreds of books, but still I kept too many. To make up for it, I now rarely buy anything but e-books.

Good luck!

allan said...

I am on board with this - for the most part. I was thinking about it this weekend (before I knew about this post, actually) and there are albums that it seems wrong to part with.

The first one I thought of was Double Nickels On The Dime. I'm going to turn that over to someone for less than $1? No. I am not. There are others, mostly mid-80s indie rock. A few are signed. So I'll set aside maybe 20-25 albums? ... Also, I have never listened to even one side of Frampton Comes Alive.

laura k said...

Well, Frampton Comes Alive and other crapola date back to before I found my tribe. I was in junior high, and I bought the popular albums, just to fit in. I listened to my own music at home.

So you set aside 20-25 albums in a box. Sounds good.

Many of the albums have emotional value to me -- but that value is in the music, not the cardboard and the vinyl. Honestly, I can't stand schlepping them around anymore.

CDs: Over the years we have gotten rid of thousands. Most of those we got for free, when Allan was writing about music. We would take them into used music stores and get cash. Sometimes quite a lot of cash! Allan recently did one last "take back", and now our CDs are our core collection. There are still hundreds, but it's a manageable amount -- and I actually want the ones we have!

Anonymous... I wish you'd introduce yourself. A first name would be appreciated.

laura k said...

Incentive: it cost us $6,000 to move from NYC to Ontario. (That's the professional movers, not the minivan rental or any other costs.) We would rather it not cost that much or more to move to Vancouver Island!

Further incentive, for me, is the size of the space we need to live comfortably.

loribeth said...

Hi Laura, I'm "Anonymous," above. "Loribeth" is an online name I use, pretty close to my real name. ;) I think I may have commented a couple of times in the past, but not very often. I've been reading your blog for a while & also live in the GTA. My mother is American (from NW Minnesota), and I spent most of my growing-up summers visiting my grandparents & cousins there. I've enjoyed your insights on the differences between the U.S. & Canada, as well as your book & movie/TV reviews. :) Wishing you all the best as you make this next move!

laura k said...

Thank you loribeth! Nice to meet you. :)

allan said...

Did I say 20-25 albums? What I meant was ....