Friday, January 15, 2016

Too Many Books

Staying for now

Thursday There are too many books in this house and too many bookshelves as well. I have three bookshelves in the spare room, one in the bedroom, two in the hall, one in the attic and a wall of shelves in my private, secret sitting room. There is a pile of books on Bert's bedside table and another pile on mine. Far, far too many books.

So I have decided to cull them. I've been off loading as I read for about a year now but am finding it far more difficult to deal with the books that have been sitting around for decades without ever having been read.

I'll need to live until I'm at least eighty to read all these books if I go through them at the rate of one per week. It also needs to be taken into account that I'll want to read books I haven't bought yet. Heck, I'll want to read books that haven't even been written yet! This is the plan. Lift a few from the shelves, glance at them, then choose one and read twenty pages. If it turns out to be tedious get rid of it at once but if it intrigues, finish it, then get rid.

I chose Lucky by Alice Sebold and shall let you know how I get on with it.

Meanwhile here is a rough guide to what went into the recycling boxes.

There were about thirty that I'd two or more copies of. Mostly classics.
All plays except for the complete works of the Bard.
Stacks of crime fiction as they are mostly all the same.
Anything by Alexander McCall Smith.
Lots of old history books.
Everything about Dora the Explorer and Spot the Dog.
Herman Melville for if I ever feel the need I'll get it on audiobook.
Surplus books on birds and the like. How many bird books does a person need? I've still got too many.
A novel by Jill Tweedie that I've never read which for some reason depresses me every time I look at it.
Chick lit with embarrassing covers.
All books about dieting. There were only about three.
Ancient book on palmistry printed to cheap paper.
Pearlie's tattered school books.
Shabby copy of The Origin of the Species. I will never read that from cover to cover. Ditto famous tomes by J.S. Mill and Adam Smith.
All sociology classics, Captive Wife, Street Corner Society etc.
All seriously out of date ECDL and computer manuals.
Christian books except Bible and few improving Sunday School prizes that belonged to Pearlie and need further investigation. Such books fascinate me.
Nancy Drew series. If Martha and Evie ever want to read those they can get them at the library.

Friday. I have completely cleared two bookshelves and have only the ancient books, cookery books and Irish Interest books to go through. There are seven good sized boxes of surplus literature to be re-homed. Bert wouldn't let me throw out any of the D.G. Hessayan books, not even the one on lawns. He also refused to part with any books on pruning.

I'm about a quarter through Lucky and it is so harrowing that I had great difficulty getting to sleep last night.

Moving on


Susannah said...

I did this last spring and donated over 80 books. It looks like you will beat that! I haven't missed a one and I'm ready for another round. It wasn't easy to let go of books that still seemed interesting but if I had bought it in the 80's still hadn't read it...must be a reason. I also made a list for winter reading of one's I'd kept according to my motto of "Read It or Weed It" and I'm reading Anna Karenina now and loving it.

Nelly said...

I think, for I didn't count, that I have weeded over 200 books. Eight boxes of varying sizes. And, like you, I'm going to read more of what is already there. Will probably finish Lucky tonight and have found it quite uplifting after a very harsh beginning. Anna Karenina is a wonderful book.

Brig said...

I really need to do a sorting of cookbooks. There are boxes and boxes of them. For some strange reason everyone who knows me tends to gift me a that is really going to help!

Nelly said...

I have winnowed my cook books down to ones that I use on a regular basis. Still got far more than a dozen and a loose file of recipes.