Sunday, January 3, 2010

Because it's holidays.

It's been a little hectic lately. After whisking my husband down the peninsula for a couple nights to celebrate our second wedding anniversary (an elaborate subterfuge that enrolled my aunt as an unwitting conspirator) and generally gallivanting about, we've spent the last two days throwing stuff out.

Him, idly turning over one of the hundreds of books I've slated for expulsion: "Didn't you say I should read that book?"
Struggling up the stairs with another armful, I roll my eyes. "I DID say that, but there are another twenty books I think you should read that are way better books."
"But this is a good book, right?"
"Not so good I'm going to read it again. I'm only keeping books I actively WANT to read again."
He doesn't get it. But I go through books the way teenage boys go through cereal.

There are literally almost four hundred books stacked up on our sideboard awaiting the grand purge. I can't decide how to get rid of them. I could take them to a trash'n'treasure Sunday and sell them for a dollar each (which I think would actually work) or institute a new house rule: no-one leaves without a book.

Forget that. It's practically an unwritten rule here anyway. People come over, we talk about books, I enthuse over something and wind up pressing it into their hand as they leave. Mostly I never see these books again (which is FINE, as it saves me the guilt of disposing of them) which, come to think of it, is doubtless why I often want to buy multiple copies of my favorites. Show me a copy of Neil Gaiman's American Gods or Anansi Boys, or Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance or anything by Barbara Kingsolver and I want to buy it just so I can pass it on to someone else.

I know. Clearly I'm crazy. Lucky I never tried any career other than teaching.


Herding Cats said...

I'm like you with the books. Love them, but I tend to hold on to them (even the bad ones) forever.

iasa said...

Ha, I like that you call it the Gand Purge. I once gave away over 1000 books, we always call that the Great Purge of '93.

erin said...

I do actually buy used copies of books just to give them to people. Then I hound them asking if they've read them yet.

I bought American Gods for my baby brother two years ago and he never read it. Soooo messed up.

otin said...

That is a great way to get rid of the books. That way you can match a book up with someone who might be interested in it.

otin said...

I was just reading a blog where he said that his family saved over 400 bucks in books by using a book swap website.

suzukisinger said...

I think you should use them as insulation in the walls. In fact, you could line your storage space under the decking with them. It could be soundproofed by books!!!

Theresa Milstein said...

I have a difficult time parting with books, except to lend them to friends and family. When my husband and I moved from NY to MA, we were brutal and got rid of a bunch (And stored the rest in my in-laws' basement). Years later, we've amassed another collection and so have our children, so I hope we never move that far again.

Wisewebwoman said...

thanks for commenting on my blog. Oh another biblophile, how lucky am I!!!
I was going to do a book post next. I give mine away. A Lot. and buy second hand for re-reads - recent was "shipping news" annie proulx, love her use of language and place.

Anonymous said...

Congrads on your anniversary! Love the blog and just started to follow Happy New Year