Our Books Show Who We Are: Adventures in packing a teeny car

For over a week I have been having trouble sleeping. I am awake at 2 a.m., envisioning where in my tiny Hyundai I will put my camping gear, or the huge cooler my friend Jessie got for me at a thrift store, or my box of audio cables. I even made a diagram. 

Car is packed

All packed!

So, even though I still have three more full days in New Mexico, I packed the car today. Minus a few boxes of beloved books, it all fits – and thank goodness for media mail. Now I get to live out of my car for a few days to test out the system. 

One of the homecoming milestones I am most looking forward to is reuniting my two libraries – the one I have built here in New Mexico, and the one that is still at my parents’ house in Vermont. The one I have developed here started with a handful of novels and Harold Bloom’s beauty of a book. Since then, it has turned into a small collection containing texts of anthropology, midwifery, labor support, osteology, and feminist theory. My library in Vermont is very different: classic literature, theatrical plays, YA fiction.

These two collections tell volumes (pun intended) about who I have been during different chapters of my life. The girl who left Vermont at age 18 is not the woman who is returning at age 25. I want to know what these two libraries look like side by side on the shelves. I am curious how they will complement each other and round each other out. And, like any other book junkie, I can’t WAIT to re-organize them.



Will I get lonely, driving across country by myself?

What are the common elements of community in America?

Does my AAA membership apply nation-wide?

Should I trust strangers who offer to help?

What is the best road snack?

Paper map, or smart phone?

Back roads or interstate?

What is the perfect level of humidity?

How long does it take for my air conditioner fluid to run out?

Is there even such a thing as air conditioner fluid?

Will I get sick of my own company?

Is it safe to camp in a tent by myself?

Podcasts, music, audio books, or silence?

Will I get a left-arm-only sunburn?

Can you sunburn through a car window?

How many showers a week is a reasonable amount?

How do I find healthy eating options on the road?

What kind of gluten-free, vegetarian meal can I get a roadside diner?

How annoying can I possibly be to a good southern cooking joint?

What are the different “flavors” of contra dance around the country?

Hurricane season and New Orleans: worth it?

In which states is it illegal to talk on the phone while driving?

Sunrise or sunset?