Snow Day!

Ok, I'm a child about snow days. This time, I have three fuzzy water bottles to keep me warm in bed (Lulu's here, and given that she was just here a month or so ago, has not once hidden under my bed!).

It's perfect timing, as I'm scrambling to get an issue of KQ edited and work on MPOWs annual book fair and read as many of the ARCs I got in Seattle as possible. It's also a perfect time to ponder this post over at BookLust:
Maybe you're this kind of person: For three months, you tried to cull a handful of books from the shelves that line your house, and you failed. It's not like it's impossible. You haven't even read half of them. You just can't pull the trigger, you wuss, you watery woman.

Maybe the same thing happens with every potential discard: You start to read it. Four hours later, you wake up on the floor, having culled nothing. Maybe your wife finds you lying there like a body on a crime show, and laughs so hard she has to cough.

We all know I'm sick about the whole "must own this book" thing. However... the past few weeks have really taught me that perhaps weeding isn't a good thing after all (as if I needed proof!). "Ok," (I hear you sigh) "What justification can she possibly come up with this time?" Here goes.

Reason Number One: Last year, our 6th grade history teacher was looking for a multicultural work of historical fiction -- something to do with the Crusade era would be just dandy. AHA! I read a book, The Star and the Stone, waaaaay back when (as in, when I was in middle school) and still had it The Collection.

Reason Number Two: This past month, our 11th grade started researching the Cold War. Now, the assignment is really, really broad, encompassing anything that happened during the decades of the Cold War, not just the War itself. So there are people comparing McCarthyism to the USA PATRIOT Act... Truman's decision to use the bomb... Mao v. Castro as a US threat... the Israeli response to Munich. You get the picture. Several students chose the Attica uprising. AHA! Somewhere in the boxes into which The Collection is packed is Attica: The Official Report of the New York State Commission (received as a gift and read when I was in middle school - yes, I was a disturbed child but let's not dwell on that, ok?). There's also a couple of students looking at British punk as a response to Thatcherism. AHA! I have a signed copy of The Downing Street Years.

Who knows what other treasures will be found over the years?


Sherri said...

But you've READ those books -- you said so yourself. What about the books you tried to read and never finished, or those books well intentioned but clueless friends and relatives give you as gifts, which you try not to let touch any of the "good" books in case the cooties rub off? The books you mention were all books you not only read, but remembered reading. Any book I don't remember owning can safely go.

Culling my books is very much like culling my closet -- it gets rid of stuff that no longer suits or fits me to make room for stuff that does. Yes, I've gotten rid of books I regret now, because I got rid of them for the wrong reasons (I had a spate in my early 20's when I got rid of all my "kids" because, well, I was an ADULT now...feh).

I also like to "omnibus cull" -- that is, I replace usually ratty paperback copies of series books with a nice hardbound omnibus of the series. Next to go -- the original Pern and Harper Hall books that I've loved until the covers have fallen off.

Lazygal said...

Sherri, there's nothing in The Collection that I haven't read (except some of the reference stuff, which is there for reference - like the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition). Yes, there are books there that I am not fond of, but I also know that they're ones that others might borrow (like A Confederacy of Dunces - don't get me started!).

The Attica book was a gift from my aunt. What she thought a middle school student would do with that book is beyond my comprehension. But I got it, I read it and I've still got it in The Collection. [shrug]