With a baby on the way, I needed to create some room at home. This meant there was no getting around it: it was time for the last remaining boxes of CDs to go.
Fellow obsessive music fans ‘of a certain age’ will recognise the gut-wrench that hit me following this realisation. I felt an almost physical resistance to getting rid of something in which I’d invested so much, both financially and emotionally.
Younger folk must be bemused at the money we used to spend on compact discs. At between £7.99 (the discount bin) and £14.99 (somewhere like WH Smiths), they rarely ever felt like a bargain. But it’s not like there was much choice of how to consume music back then.
Nowadays it doesn’t feel like there’s a defendable reason to hang on to them, except that of nostalgia. And you can’t store a crib in nostalgia. Sure, there’s a chance Spotify will cease to exist in the future; but like the rest of humanity I need to have faith that music is now always going to be accessible in a non-physically tangible form (if only because arguing against this likelihood makes one sound like a crackpot).
Practicality aside, it’s the wistfulness rather than the historical financial outlay that makes my CDs hard to ditch. And when you start dwelling on what they once meant, it can be hard to see clearly. This one soundtracked my exam revision, that one soundtracked certain memorable nights out, etc. If I lingered over every CD that had memories attached, the process of getting rid would take longer than a Stone Roses album gestation period.
So instead, before I finally cleared mine out, I decided to capture their existence photographically (also a handy way to get to grips with a recently-purchased camera).
Maybe one day I’ll show the photos to my child and explain what they once meant. And *blame him* for forcing me to get rid of them.
Postscript: Don’t worry, they’re not going to landfill. I’m happy to report that a friend with a bit more space has volunteered to take them off my hands so that she can ‘educate’ her son.
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