Moving: 4 Books on a Big Topic

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I was supposed to write a different piece about moving. But I’ve been stressed, and tired, and, well, this seemed like a better move. (Get it, a better move?) Many people have told me that moving is one of life’s most stressful events, similar to the death of a loved one or a divorce. I mean, yeah, it’s stressful, but Googling around quickly debunked the idea that it’s as stressful as death or divorce. Look, I’m not saying it’s a piece of cake. It’s not. Moving really sucks; it’s expensive and messy and exhausting. So instead of focusing on unpacking, check out these fiction and nonfiction books that tackle the issue of moving better than I ever could:


 Goodbye House by Frank Asch

Yes, this is a children’s book. It’s also one of my all-time favorites from childhood. I remember clearly the cover, the pages, the illustration style. It soothed me when I was a kid and still does now. In this book, Bear says goodbye to each room in the house and looks at it when it’s empty. He’s sad – understandably. But even though his family is moving, he learns that he can carry the house with him in his memories. I know that I do – I keep memories of my previous homes locked tight in my memory. Do you?

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Some moves are simple, like mine – moving from one apartment to another across several state lines. But then, there are moves like Binti’s: from her place among the Himba people and her family, to a prestigious intergalactic university. Talk about stressful! Moving for Binti is also a matter of struggling to stay alive as she makes her way through the stars towards the knowledge the university holds. But she must also remember where she came from and the wisdom of her people if she hopes to survive the journey…


Life Skills 101 by Tina Pestalozzi

For lots of people, moving is hardest when leaving their childhood home for the first time. It may seem hokey to read a book about how to adult… But let’s be honest, lots of us in our 20s, 30s, 40s and on are still trying to figure it all out, so why not give yourself a leg up? Tina Pestalozzi nails it here with advice on living responsibly and smartly, giving tips on finances, job-searching, lease negotiations, and more. In other words, this is a useful book for anyone moving anywhere, not only for when you leave a safe childhood environment if you were privileged enough to have one.

The Monocle Guide to Cosy Homes by Monocle

The hardcover, picture-less facade of this book may make you wary, but its title says it all: this is a book that takes a geographic survey of the world’s homes, and finds the best and coziest. For those planning on moving elsewhere, this book will give you real examples of homes around the globe and how their owners made them into the spaces they’ve become. Additionally, there’s not too much snobbery here: these homes are loved scuffs and all, and present the lived-in experience that many of us crave. Whether you’re really moving or just dreaming of moving somewhere different, this is a great book to check out.

What books about moving would you recommend?