Mobility is important to me. I like traveling. I like living in random places (although I prefer my crash locations to all be my own paid-for places so I can come and go as I choose without inconveniencing anyone), coming home at random hours, living relatively simply, packing light.

There's just one problem. I love books.

I love them so much and I read them so fast that I have - after extensive paring, mind you - four blue bins and one large box plus whatever I packed into my suitcase to read or re-read during my two weeks at home. More than half my worldly goods by volume are books. Far more than half if you go by weight. (In contrast, all my clothes, sheets, and blankets fit into a single bin.) At Olin, they took up the entirety of the space under my bed, a stack by my window, a stack on my drawers, and the entire back row of my desk and dresser.

They're an extension of my brain and my memory; I'll randomly grab and reference them for strange things, quoting Minsky in an english paper, Milton in a physics assignment. Some books are sentimental keepsakes (Oh the Places You'll Go! from my parents) and others I keep to remember the strange flips my brain turned when I first met them (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance). I started taking down quotes and notes in .txt files so as to not have to carry some of my favorites around, but... how do you get rid of Boyce & DiPrima when you keep on randomly remembering differential equations you've forgotten and want to look up again?

They're also a status symbol. I long to have bookshelves like my professors', well-worn and packed with tomes from all the subjects they're interested in. Quirky additions; a book on fractals, another on negotiation, an old yearbook, a Foxtrot collection. For bibliophiles and graphomaniacs like me, a bookshelf is in some ways a snapshot of our brain. Hey, I didn't know you were into solar cars. Or clocks. Or philosophy.

How do I ensure I have access to the information I want, whenever I want it, without having to carry around too much dead-tree baggage from house to house? Scan them all and put the PDFs on a hard drive? (Ow.) Buy them online? (I like the physical action of page-turning, but that may be a habit I can grow out of.) Donate them to my local library? (I need to stay local to that library.) Have one "permanent" house and wander with sublets from there? (The long-term solution I want, but too expensive at present.) What do other bibliophile-nomads do about this?