When my uncle died nearly a decade ago, we tried to donate his music collection to a university or library. His was an enormous, well-organized assemblage of jazz items — LPs, CDs, mags, books, photos — that could’ve been used as an amazing educational resource. But nobody wanted it. Nobody.
Barring something unfortunate, I have a long time before I die, but I’ve pondered the future of my sonic assemblage ever since my uncle passed. My music collection is formidable, too, covering 30 years of multi-genre acquisitions. But nobody’s going to want it en masse, either. So I’ve been thinking about how to pare it down and just retain a few things I’d like for my kids — with “a few things” still meaning thousands of CDs, LPs, books and more.
Last weekend, I took the first step by giving away boxes of important music magazines, such as “DownBeat” (a jazz and blues pub that’s been around since 1934) and “The Wire” (which has counted Matt Groening and Thurston Moore as longtime subscribers). But the bulk of those publications didn’t even come from me; they were my uncle’s.
It’s easier to give away things that were never yours.