Monday, October 17, 2005


I spent the weekend cleaning in my store room and office and found myself in the midst of stacks of books.

I am not really a pack-rat, but books seem to have a way of accumulating around me. Many of the titles were must-have books from years past.

Actually, I am the opposite of a pack-rat. I have a tendency at times to want to simplify and purge whatever seems like excess around me. The only problem is that I sometimes later wish I had the things that seemed undesirable while I was cleaning.

So here I am with stacks of books and a compulsion to ruthlessly downsize.

I guess there's no way to know today which ones I will be wishing for down the road.


[rhymes with kerouac] said...

It's hard to let go of books, isn't it? Sometimes it feels like saying goodbye. And, like you said, months later you're thinking, 'now where was that...'

Computer software? It gets upgraded, outdated and deleted with a moment's hesitation. The few books I've downloaded ended up being printing on paper, like the blogs and articles I want to savour. I don't for moment long for tv shows I once taped or movies I once saw, but the books I've lost, or given to the used bookstores? Oy, vey!

I mean, will there ever be a better idea than books?

Cindy said...

Grace, we have this in common! I'm also a ruthless tosser. There aren't so many of us out here, and sometimes it gets lonely in the midst of all those keeper people. I married one (a saver) and gave birth to another, so my life's work is already laid out for me.

After about 10-15 years, a book deteriorates and gets musty enough to give me allergy problems anyway, so it's not too hard to let go of them. I love to hold a book, but CDs never give me a headache! I do have a couple of glass cases where I keep old and antique books I can't part with. I limit those to what will fit in the cases.

Good luck with the cleanout! Remember, there's always Amazon if you decide later you want one back. Here's a question my sister-in-law said helped her: which will I need more in 5 years, this (thing) or the space that it's taking?

Bar Bar A said...

I am the EXACT same way when it comes to not being a pack rat EXCEPT for books, they feel like friends to me.

Pam Hogeweide said...

Hi Grace
Yeah, I'm the same. Just tonight I cleaned out several drawers and now have two bags of clothing to deliver to the Salvation Army - and this I did while recuperating from a very nasty stomach virus!

I love books, too. When I was a kid I dreamed of having my own library someday. When I visit other people's homes I am always most interested in their bookcases if they have them. I have been to different homes over the years that will have floor to ceiling cases filled with glorious books. It's like a candy shop to me.

I don't have my own library. My husband did build me a cozy but adequate office in a corner of our basement. I have one bookcase, ceiling to floor, in there. It is nearly filled with books. My trouble is I give books away, either because, "You have to read this!" or it's a book I don't want to keep in my permanent collection. It is sometimes hard to decide. A friend of mine has over 1500 books from his decades of collecting. Sometimes I'm envious, wow, he managed to save his books over the years. My collection is paltry compared to his.

This past year I've been having more non-Christians over to my home (trying to break free, ya know, from the Christian bubble I have created for myself). I looked at my bookcases from their point of view - whoa, just about everything, nearly 100% is from a totally Christian perspective.
So several months ago I decided to purposefully begin seeking out titles that are not written by Christians. I read non-fiction so I've been enjoying books like Reading Lolita in Tehran and also The Spirituality of Imperfection (great title, great book!). I guess you could say I'm trying to broaden my horizons. This is good for my soul, not only as a believer, but also as a writer.
I bet I'll be cleaning up the bookcases again before the year is over to make room for these new friends.

SpookyRach said...

rwkerouac is so right! Never a better idea than books.

grace said...

Rhymes, well woman, and rach,
I knew that my fellow book lovers would understand.

Cindy, your sister's question could be dangerous with me. I'm afraid nothing would be safe.

Pam, I hope you are feeling better. I noticed you hadn't written at your blog for awhile.

So many books, so little time.

I sometimes wish I had a type of USB port where I could download the information from a book directly into my brain without having to take the time to read it.

David Cho said...


I wish I had saved my high school essays . They always came back from teachers bleeding with grammatic corrections which frustrated me to no end. Threw them away as quickly as I could.

You are right. There is no way to know which ones we will be wishing down the road. Never dreamed that I would want those essays saved.