One of the bookcases in our bedroom gave its very last creak and collapsed this week. We can’t blame the wood or the manufacturer – every shelf was jam packed and double skinned and, after twelve years of service, it finally gave away.
We have six bookcases in our house and every shelf is lined with books with additional ones tucked into every spare gap. It seems we continue buy more on a regular basis which we struggle to part with, so I guess this was an inevitable problem for us to face.
Once I’d collected the books together and piled them up, I really had some decisions to make. Buy an extra strong model and overload it the same, or finally let some books go. And of course there is the issue of all the new books that we still continue to buy. (While I do read the occasional eBook, my hubby still prefers the ‘papered’ variety.)
So, over the past week we have started the cull. It’s not easy, sorting through those special stories, leafing through all that prose that somebody has put their heart and soul into, and deciding whether to keep it or cast it out.
I started quite robustly, pulling books out and placing them on the pile irreverently. Then, as my heart grew heavy, I slowed down and took a few back. But, as I sat and picked through them I discovered some real treasures inside: There was a baby pic of my daughter, some of those little notes that young children send in their beautiful spidery handwriting, a family photo on holiday in Wales, some notes I’d written for my first novel. And it suddenly occurred to me that I wasn’t throwing my old books away, I was merely sharing them for somebody else to turn the pages and mark their place with their own makeshift bookmarks.
The group you see at the top of this post is one of almost five, half of which already sits on the shelf at the charity shop waiting for somebody new to read them. I hope they enjoy them as much as I did.
Have a lovely week, all.