"This or any other procedure is merely a dam against the spring tide of memories which surges toward any collector as he contemplates his possessions. Every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories. More than that: the chance, the fate, that suffuse the past before my eyes are conspicuously present in the accustomed confusion of these books. For what else is this collection but a disorder to which habit has accommodated itself to such an extent that it can appear as order? You have all heard of people whom the loss of their books has turned into invalids, or of those who in order to acquire them became criminals. These are the very areas in which any order is a balancing act of extreme precariousness." —Walter Benjamin, "Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting"
I dynamited my dam yesterday. Anyone interested in a partial glimpse into the habituated disorder of some 20 years of my life may find traces of it — 3000 some such traces, in fact — creeping into the shelves of San Francisco's Amoeba records in the next few weeks. You might expect me to mourn, but I feel strangely invigorated. It's refreshing, releasing all those little beasties back into the wild.