JJB: I have too many books.
PS: I gave away 20 boxes, but it didn't make a dent. It's terrible. I'll have a whole library to write one song. Sometimes there's a jewel, a bit in one book and a bit in another .… It's like an unfolding screen of the four seasons. You say, "If I get rid of that, then there's no more autumn." I remember when my mother was my age. She'd collected a lot of stuff she bought in thrift stores, at flea markets. Then one day I came to visit her, and the house looked very empty. I said, "Mommy, where are your dolls? Where are the plates?" She'd packed them away. I said, "Are you all right? You're not sick …" She said, "No, I'm keeping the things I like the best. You get to a certain time in your life where you don't want to be fettered by all of your things. You want to have some lightness." Now I understand. This year I put everything into my little house in Rockaway, and now I want to keep my life as unfettered as possible. So maybe I'll just pretend to get rare books from my catalogue, and not really get them.
Harper's Bazaar interview with Patti Smith. [ full interview ]