I probably had close to a thousand books back when I lived in Austin. I sold maybe 50 at a yard sale before I moved to NYC, and the rest now sit in boxes in my mom's garage in San Antone.
After I moved, in '07, I had the Ma ship me what I considered my "must-haves": Every last one of my Joan Crawford-related books (about 35), plus all of my dictionaries and reference books that I use for my copy-editing work (about 10). Then, when I've gone home for Christmas, I've picked up a few that would fit in my suitcase: Plath (2), Hughes (2), Rilke, Eliot poetry, some screenplay books ("Blue Angel" and "Sunset Blvd" and "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"), some NY-themed things like Salinger's work, Frank O'Hara's poems, and gay-themed stuff like "Celluloid Closet" and "Drag Queens of NY."
I've always felt deficient without my library with me. But it's interesting to see how the collection has started to grow again. First are things I've bought outright: I have 11 books about New York City that I've bought at the Strand. And then 3 used bios: Zelda Fitzgerald, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Hillary Clinton (also from the Strand). Plus one that my first roommate here gave me, about rocker Carole Pope (roommate Fran was actually a one-time manager of Pope, who was a one-time lover of Dusty Springfield).
The rest I've been picking up for free--from the first 2 apartment buildings that I lived in (there were "free" shelves in the laundry-rooms). And lately, I just discovered that my workplace also has a "free" shelf. So here are the freebies I've picked up, in no particular order:
The Theory of the Modern Stage
Changing, by Liv Ullmann
No One Here Gets Out Alive (Doors bio)
Riders on the Storm (Doors/Densmore)
The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer
Saint Joan (my favorite Shaw play)
A Room with a View
The Sheltering Sky
The Mill on the Floss
Story of O
Looking for Mr. Goodbar
Pierre and Jean (Maupassant)
To Kill a Mockingbird
It Takes a Village
Epitome of History (1883)
A Harvard Classics set including volumes on Franklin/Woolman/Penn, Aesop/Grimm/Andersen, Addison/Steele/Swift/Defoe/Johnson, Emerson, Homer, Plutarch, Virgil, Cervantes, American Historical Documents. (Like I'm ever going to crack open one of these!)
(The one book I myself contributed to a free-pile was the autobiography of Maria von Trapp! I thought it would be a rolicking good tale, a la "The Sound of Music," but... the woman writes like a nun!) :)
The only things I really wish I had with me from the garage are my nice, big art and movie books (too big and heavy to ask my mom to mail), plus my dozens of books on/by Plath/Hughes, and the rest of my poetry collection. The other novels and things: Eh, I can always pick up from the library if I'm craving.