Monday, 26 January 2009

They say that moving is the third most stressful life event, behind the death of a loved one and going through a nasty divorce.

After 17 years in the same house and 15 years in the same office, I’m on the move. And while the prospect of getting out of one’s comfort zone in life is not without stress (not to mention the death and divorce threats from loved ones), the exercise of shifting premises can be very cathartic (for those of you played your rugby with a number of less than nine on your back, cathartic means therapeutic, liberating and invigorating).

You can spring clean ‘til the cows come home but only the reality-jolt of having to uproot your earthly belongings and move them some distance, can truly motivate a man to have a real cull of his possessions.

No finer example of that exists than my rather extensive sporting library. A lifetime of collecting aided by the past 15 years in radio, bludging free books, has left me rather well endowed! So much so, I’ve had to divide the collection into the three parts.

All sports books are desirable but least desirable are being donated to the annual Lions’ book sale from whence many were procured in the first place.

The next cut is staying behind in my old office for posterity. In years to come they might hold some interest but to be honest they are dominated by duplicates of classics of which I’ve kept a better copy (Colin Meads All Black by Alex Veysey) and recent biographies of the likes of Jonah Lomu, Anton Oliver, Christian Cullen, Tana Umaga, Carlos Spencer, Dan Carter, Chris Cairns, Stephen Fleming, Martin Crowe, Mark Greatbatch and David Beckham. All wonderful sportspeople in their own right but not earth-shattering reads.

I haven’t been a complete spoilsport though and have managed to leave behind some beauties by way of John McEnroe’s Serious and Lance Armstrong’s It’s Not AboutTthe Bike.

The books that have made the touring squad are all classics in my mind. There’s your usual suspect’s and must-haves in the form of Men in Black (I have one of the original 1000 leather-bound books from 1978 plus three subsequent updated hard-cover editions), the aforementioned Meads epic and Brian Turner’s excellent updated version plus a raft of rugby biographies from players who genuinely interest me (Don Clarke, ….. and of more recent times Andrew Mehrtens and Jeff Wilson)

And to prove I’m a balanced individual there’s even books on John F Kennedy, Bill Clinton, David Lange and Ed Hillary and the radio music bibles The Guinness Rockapedia and New Zealand Music Charts 1966 to 1996.

Incidentally, when my kids asked me why the book has not been updated since 1996, I replied there hasn’t been a worthy song written since 1986, so why bother. I can’t for the life of me think why they think I’m old and boring.

Perhaps they’d enjoy Jonah’s book?


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