Mostly they had just been mouldering in our attic.I hadn't even been up there in six years until the end of last week.. It was clear that the books were just filling space.and I needed to be ruthless. But getting rid of them certainly didn't make me feel good. In fact I felt I had somehow betrayed them.At the recycling centre there is a big green bin with a a roof and a tipping shelf. The idea is that you pop your books on that shelf and drop them into the void. Later the books are sorted and some end up being donated to charities while others are simply pulped.
Unfortunately, as I approached the book bin I could see that it was already jam-packed. I had to borrow a long-handled brush to push the book donations deeper into the bin, creating space for my own car full. Wirh effort and will I managed to force all of my books inside. It was as if they were reluctant to go in and if they could have made noise I am sure they would have been squealing out painful complaints.
Every book I ever read meant something to me and contributed to my development and thinking. I mourn their loss even though there are another thousand or more books downstairs - threatening to burst our other bookshelves apart.
I didn't photograph all of the books I discarded today - just a small sample of them -knowing that I would be blogging about this unremarkable but personally momentous event. The beautyful ones are not yet born. Farewell old friends and thank you!
Oh wow. You really did say goodbye to a lot of friends. Hopefully they will all find wonderful new homes and bring their new owners much joy.ReplyDelete
I did the deed earlier this year. It's hard to art with them but it has to be done. I helped a friend a couple of years ago who had 4000 books. She was 88. Yes, I did take a few of her books . I choose some that would be a suitable gift for the nature center.ReplyDelete
Judy says that breaks her heart. She is a true book lover. She would find it hard to do the same.ReplyDelete
Oh, my goodness, you got rid of CM Grieve! I doubt that I would understand it although I've read a couple of his other poems and like some of his quotes. Although he was Grandpa's first cousin, we didn't talk much about Chris. He was definitely the black sheep of the otherwise very staid and conventional Grieve clan. :)ReplyDelete
I've probably got rid of a thousand, but over years not all at once. I'm not sure how many I still have but it's a small fraction of what I had before I moved here. And my collection is 99% fiction novels.ReplyDelete
Perhaps there are too many books in the world anyway. We scrabble to write something to leave behind but it is not important.ReplyDelete
A fond farewell to old friends.ReplyDelete
As a Librarian, letting go of books is very hard for me, too. As you say, every one I have read has done something to enrich my mind, increase my knowledge or create an unforgettable memory.ReplyDelete
But unless one has a mansion with its own library tract, one can not hold on to every book one has read. Of course, borrowing from a library is part of the solution - you get the reading experience without the permanent take-up of space.
I hate throwing away books, too. Now that I have a Kindle it has relieved me of the anguish over which book I'll keep and which I'll dispense with. I still have "proper" books but they are all destined for the Charity shop too. Most of them I haven't opened in years, and most are hopelessly outdated.ReplyDelete
What an interesting collection of books. Hopefully someone will sort them at the recycling center. It seems like some of those could be quite unusual. How many extant copies of "Experiences of a New Guinea Magistrate" are still out there, I wonder?!ReplyDelete
We can't keep everything, though, so good for you for getting rid of them. I also have a tendency to personalize inanimate objects and imagine that they're saying, "Don't throw me away!" Which is just silly.
When we moved to our bungalow, we had to sort and pass on loads of books, it's so hard to decide which you keep and which goes, as a book worm I would have kept them all. In our village we have a community hub, they have a wall of books all for sale at 50p each, so we read and give them back. We also still have our library.ReplyDelete
It's nice to know that they at least have a chance of being re-loved. They have done their work with you and it's time for them to move on.You've done well to let go.ReplyDelete
The kids will never thank you or appreciate it. They should.ReplyDelete
FIve years ago we downsized from two houses to one, and parted with tons of books. The local library were the other house was, was across the street, and graciously accepted carloads of books - mostly to resell. Jay's professional library, went mostly to friends, he left his office unlocked at the University and sent an email to the department to please come take ANYTHING and EVERYTHING you want. It is hard, but necessary. Books shape us and touch our lives.ReplyDelete
I would have a devil of a time getting rid of my books as they hold so many memories. But good on you for the recycling because someone out there might want one of your old favorites.ReplyDelete
I need to go through my books and get rid of the ones I know for a fact I'll never read again. I did this a few years ago but it needs doing again. Like Steve, I also personalize inanimate objects and it's truly not helpful.ReplyDelete
I feel your pain. I have six floor-to-ceiling bookshelves groaning with books, many of them from studying German at uni. I cannot bear to part with them yet, but know at some stage in the future I shall need to downsize and will have to go through them.ReplyDelete
I have a friend with a library on a post out in front of their house. The idea is people walking by can borrow a book or drop off a book for others. I have been donating boxes of books to them. I always sign my name on the inside cover of any book I have read that is mine before donating it to my friend. Our town has an annual book sale where people donate books to the library and then over three days, you can buy them for a dollar each with proceeds going to the library. I stopped counting at two dozen books of mine that have make their way there from my friend's library on a post.ReplyDelete