Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What to do with a Book?

Anybody who knows us, knows that Jason and I are more "book people" than "TV people." In fact, when we moved from Washington State to Florida, we didn't have much by way of furniture, so we moved by mail. We spent about five hundred dollars on postage, most of which was media rate.

But now comes the time when the books get sorted into those "worthy" and "unworthy." I'd already begun that process, but Jason continued it today. I was surprised by some of those which didn't make the cut. Ender's Game and One Hundred & One Famous Poems are in the "get rid of" box. I'm proud of him for being willing to purge them from our shelves, and yet I think to myself, "What!?! These are great books."

Now I must face the truth with myself (again). The purge I'd done earlier were books I didn't want in the first place. The ones that somebody gives you & you aren't sure why. The ones that you stick on a shelf where they create some sort of gravitational black hole. When their gravity begins to suck you in, you break away by irritably muttering, "Why did he/she give me that. . .what made them think that's something I'd want?" and then feeling grouchy for the next twenty minutes.

The truth is that my "fluffy" reading is the books I'll have the hardest time leaving behind. The books that don't enlighten or enliven you at all. The books that I read when it's a rainy, gloomy day or I'm just feeling sorry for myself. The books that linger for weeks in the bathroom, because reading while taking a bath is bliss. Basically, the books that provide the mental escape from life.

So, what do you read? And what to do with books that must stay behind?


Jason said...

I put Ender's Game in there? Oops... that wasn't supposed to go!

Sarah said...

Too funny, Jason. Right now we have only one bookshelf in our house on purpose, b/c we are trying not to accumulate too many; but the problem is the kids books keep growing to use more and more of the space. I read at least a book a month but tend to use the good ol' library. We have access to a fantastic library system.

It's a hard call. Old treasured books can feel like old friends. Maybe someone wouldn't mind booksitting a box or two of the ones you don't need to take with you but don't want to part with?

Starr said...

Sarah, it's a good thing that we are active library users, otherwise our house would have no place for people.

I'm amazed that you are able to keep your book allotment limited to one shelf -- good for you. The children's book collection is next on the list for filtering. It'll be easy to throw out the torn books for me, but not for Cami & Graham. Those are the books that they look at the most (unless you count Calvin & Hobbes). They'll just have to disappear quietly -- as will the books that they've never paid any attention.

The Windy City Duo said...

I don't know how you are doing it. Books are like children... it must be a very painful process.

Kristin said...

FlyLady (do you know flylady?) says that you shouldn't keep things that someone gave you if you don't want to keep it, because it's your house, and you wouldn't expect them to keep something you gave them but they didn't really want to keep. I'm big into the pschology of decluttering, if you can't tell.

Sarah said...

Oh, I'll tell you how. I get rid of some, occasionally I'll box up some, and the rest I think spill elsewhere! I should just buy another bookshelf because my office is a mess!