I've been engaged in a flurry of housecleaning lately. Aside from scaring the dog with this unusual activity, I'm determined to get rid of clutter. For the most part it's been painless (I certainly don't love cooking enough to own three whisks). But then I reached my bookshelves. And yes, I confess, I gave away some books.
Now, many will roll their eyes at this pronouncement. But, I know I've many kindred souls out there who understand why this is such a big deal. My own husband thinks of his books as almost family (though I do think he'd chose our son over his full set of vintage E.E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman Series... I think).
Now, before anyone makes snide remarks about learning to use a Kindle or a library, let me say, I'm never without my phone or my Kindle app because one never knows when she'll end up stuck in a line, gasp, without a book! And libraries are some of my favorite places.
But, there is something about a book. The feel, the smell, the settling under an afghan and being transported to another word, that the Kindle doesn't quite provide. And while libraries are like a literate Disney Land to me, I still require being surrounded by my own books. As Ciccero said, 'A room without books, is like a body without a soul.'
So, needless to say, I own a lot of books. But, I knew I needed to be brave and cull. Of course, my Agatha Christie's were safe. And what is Halloween without rereading Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October? My 1924 copy of Rainbow Hill by Josephine Lawrence wasn't going anywhere. Every time I look at it, I think of my grandmother who gave it to me. When I remember her house, I remember books, all waiting to be shared. And Bob Hope's I Owe Russia $1200 holds a place of honor. Not only do I find Bob funnier than most comedians today, the book used to belong to my dad.
What would my criteria be for getting rid of books? Unlike many people, I do reread. There's nothing better than restarting a beloved series from beginning to end, revisiting the old friends in their pages.
So, I handled each book and thought, will I ever read this again? Why not? Was it time to let it go and let someone else enjoy its story? A slow process, but in the end, out of about 200 books, I got rid of five.
Yeah, I know, but it's a start. I still have several rooms and many bookcases to go.
"Keep reading and dreaming"