Books to go

People who know me will know I love books and I happen to have lots of them. This interest goes all the way back to early childhood and when I became school librarian, and has been maintained ever since – on all sorts of subjects, fiction and non-fiction, “sacred” and “secular”, and often a number on the go at the same time.

Sadly, as a family we agreed most of them will have to go! I put out an advert two weeks ago (see above) that I will be happy to give many of these away provided they end up in a home where the books will be read. Just as sad though was the response, which was mainly disappointing, although I am hopeful we may be able to ship many of the “to have to go” books (especially the “Christian” ones) to a third world country, where I am confident they will be read. Yesterday and today, we managed to sort them!

The bottom line is the majority (if I am honest) I am unlikely to read, as I am well on the road to death or dolalydom (or both) and, even though I am old school, I do a lot of my reading (often of the skim variety) online, and it is taking up valuable space, at a time we are looking to down size. Given part of my old school mentality is to prize good books (most are) the idea was to create four piles:

A – for the dump

B – “secular” and charity shops may take

C – “Christian” and aimed at those with a theological bent

D – to retain (I plan to go through them in the next year)

While the dump pile was not as big as one family member hoped, it was still sizable. It was a tough call, based on an honest assessment that these won’t be taken. The retain pile, however, while sizable, was a lot less than said family member feared and what happens when one is honest. B and C were the biggest piles and roughly the same size and cover a huge breadth of content.

It was an emotional exercise as I came across books I hadn’t set eyes on for years and, in the day, these meant a lot to me. Some go back to my childhood and many brought back memories of the time I read them – maybe as long ago as sixty years. Already, plans are afoot to dispose of pile A, and I am hopeful that piles B and C will go soon. As for pile D, it will be a matter of arranging these nicely and delivering on my promise to read and re-read what is left.

My feelings are mixed but, overall, I think I did the right thing.


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