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underwater

In post-cold torpor. Woke up early enough to drive dan to the train station (he's working at a University Fair all day today) and was going to go back to sleep, but it turns out I'm not at all tired.

Discovered the basement has had undetected standing water long enough to mildew a few cardboard liquour boxes, and probably ruined a bag of flour, sigh. So I did the "dry out the carpet with the big box fan" dance (lifting a dripping carpet to put crates to air out underneath while trying to not get dripped on) along with the "eek, there are multiple spiders in there" shuffle.

And for the last few hours I've worked on pruning the bookshelves. Found roughly 20" of books to go to the thrift shop, along with another pile that aren't worth anything to anybody other than me-of-20-years-ago (Cornell Student Handbook for 1992?).

Haven't figured what to do with two thin books I bought even before then: "Young, Gay, and Proud", and "One Teenager in 10." Almost certainly as much use today as... hm... the Whole Earth Catalog? With less obvious charm?

There's a melancholy of going through bookshelves one hasn't touched in years, especially if one can remember, 4 or 5 years ago, choosing to keep some of the books based on a plan to actually read them. My pleasure reading for the last few years has been almost entirely the daily Globe and Mail and 3 monthly magazines that I am underwater on reading. I've been forging my way through the last six issues of Harpers, dunno what I will do about The Atlantic which I never seem to get to...

I could choose to spend less time browsing on the web, and more time with a good book. But why do I have the feeling that I won't?

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Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
beartalon
Oct. 15th, 2011 06:26 pm (UTC)
The best thing about giving to a library is that you know what you provided. Keep a list of the books you give away, and then take them out when you want to read them. Borrowing from a library with a deadline for return is a good manner of making sure you make use of that time to read the book.

While you're not taking the book out, other people can, instead of sitting in your bookshelf unread by anyone.
da_lj
Oct. 15th, 2011 10:58 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a good plan. And hey, KPL doesn't yet have the Darwin Award books (at the top of my stack).
beartalon
Oct. 15th, 2011 11:45 pm (UTC)
Another good plan would be for the two of us to wind up in the same space together so I could borrow some books that are sitting somewhere on one of your flat surfaces. ;)
da_lj
Oct. 16th, 2011 12:21 am (UTC)
Yes! Within arm-reach, even!

There are copies at the Meeting House as well, just to further tantalize you. :)
mynatt
Oct. 16th, 2011 11:56 pm (UTC)
i'm starting to think of getting rid of books i can easily find in libraries and am not likely to reread; largely for the same reason i devested myself of almost all my CDs after making digital copies. i hadn't thought of donating to a library; i'll have to look into that. thanks for the suggestion.
valkryor
Oct. 15th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
I find I go through spurts of reading, and yeah, sometimes it takes me far to long to get to certain books, but I do get there, in the end.
merle_
Oct. 15th, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC)
The worst thing for me about bookshelf culling is the sequence where I think "hey, I kept this to be able to reread it", followed by "what are the odds I will ever read this again?", quickly followed by "and what are the odds that I will ever be able to find a copy of this book again?".

I do agree with beartalon that if you are going to give them away, take them to a library. Used book stores give you a pittance and the book will only be useful if the right person happens to come by. Plus, a lot of libraries take parts of their book donations and sell them via used book stores anyway, so if they really don't want your book they'll be the one getting the money. Librarians aren't big at dumping books into recycling bins for some strange reason...
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )