Monday, August 11, 2014

Books, Books, Everywhere!

Who Knew There Were So Many in our Home?

Books are memories, of the best kind.

As part of a major down-sizing, my husband and I have decided to go through our many hundreds of books and give away the ones we no longer want. But...wait. Wait! Wait! What if I want to keep them? All of them? What if I still love the row of battered Little House books with the yellow covers that that I read so many times as a child? What if I can't bear to part with the ones I loved as an adult? Books such as Maia, by Richard Adams; Lilith's Brood, by Octavia Butler; Undaunted Courage, by Stephen Ambrose; Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown (in my hand in the below image)? And so many others! How could my husband and I possibly choose between them?

 This was much harder than I'd thought it would be...

The truth of the matter is that they can't all be favorites. The nature of the word "favorite" makes that obvious, right? Since there are books everywhere in this house, scattered in bookshelves in almost every room, there have to be some books that truly are favorites ... absolute, indisputable, jaw-dropping favorites. All we need to do is take the time and effort to sort through them to find the best of the best. 

No problem.

No big deal, right?

I started with my personal shelf in the bedroom. Then we moved into the guest bedroom where the motherload lived and called in help. My kids came, wonderful people that they are. They wrestled boxes upstairs, pulled books from shelves, looked for books here and there they wanted to keep. Good thing they're here. Books, it turns out, are sooooo dangggg heavvvvy.

During the past week, we've gone from room to room sorting and boxing. Here is a list of just how many books we'll be giving to the Friends of the Seattle Public Library for their book sale:

* Fifteen boxes of my husband's collection of novels, classics, manuals, drama collections, accounting textbooks, etc (he taught English lit, drama, and University-level accounting, among other things).

* Four boxes of my favorite old novels from our bedroom (Goodbye Clan of the Cave Bear, by Jean M. Auel. And also Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein, which my son took. I hope it will blow his mind like it did mine when I was his age.)

Books, books, and more books...

* Five boxes of random bookness from the basement. (We carefully set aside my husband's beautiful old leather-covered Hebrew bible from his Bar Mitzvah.)

* One box of cookbooks from the pantry. (Goodbye From the Kitchens of Oklahoma Housewives, an old old notebook that my grandmother and her neighbors put together...hmmm...perhaps I'll offer that one to my daughter...I did keep my Better Homes and Gardens red-and-white checkered cookbook, of course. I also rescued a book devoted to cookies and several Weight Watchers cookbooks. Hey. They're really good recipes, even if I'm, ahem, not actually doing Weight Watchers any more.)

* One box of lovely crafting books from my studio. (Beautiful Wire Jewelry, oh, how I loved you!)

* Two boxes from my daughter's old room. (Most of the Harry Potter books. She's taking them with her.)

* Six boxes of my kid's favorite children's books... (My son kept some good ones: Wizard of Earthsea, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler... such great books!)

Empty Shelves. Dust? What dust?

Some of the books that made the cut.

The many, many boxes of books are now waiting until tomorrow, when my son and his friend can load them into my SUV and deliver them to the Friends of the Library donation area. I console myself with the hope that someone else, somewhere, someday may enjoy them also. 

What about you?

Do you have your own story about the books you love? About hoarding them? About letting them go? I'd love to hear from you!

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