Monday, May 02, 2011
I'm ruthlessly purging my book collection. It's painful, like attending a funeral. Some of these books have been in my library for a very long time; some were gifts; some have been read so much that the spine is broken and falling off.
I have to honestly ask myself, though, "Are you going to read this again, and if so, can you find it at a library? Will it soon be available for free on Kindle, or is it already?" (i.e. Jane Eyre and my Complete Sherlock Holmes).
My fear is that I'll get rid of some books that will soon be unavailable in the libraries through lack of use by the fickle public. I'm keeping all my Mary Stewart books because I know our little library here recently sold all of her books on their bargain rack, meaning they probably aren't going to be re-printed anytime soon. I'm also keeping Dorothy Sayers. I just can't send poor Lord Peter to the scrap heap. We've been good friends for far too long.
However, I am letting go of the following authors: Alistair MacLean, M.M Kaye, Rex Stout, Helen MacInnes, Ngaio Marsh, John Le Carre, Ellis Peters and Agatha Christie. Oh, and I'm only going to keep about half of the Terry Pratchett books. You have to understand that I owned every book by most of these authors, and they were very prolific. Yes, it takes up a lot of room. That's sort of the point.
Will I be hating myself tomorrow? Will this be a release or a regret? I don't know. The garage sale is Saturday, so I have time to recover treasures if I decide that I just can't do it.
To paraphrase the ubiquitous plaque: God grant me the courage to purge the books that I should, the serenity to keep the books that I ought, and the wisdom to know the difference.