I always think about books, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about bookshelves. My pile of books was getting out of hand. Hazardous is not too strong a word.
The more I thought about it, the more I didn’t want to wait until Christmas to buy bookshelves. So I did the next best thing: I stole the shelves out of Justin’s man cave and put them in my library.
My first order of business was to remove the existing bookshelf.
This poor old thing was a Christmas present from Justin twelve or thirteen years ago. He put it together and stained it himself. I remember being so excited when I first put books on this book shelf. Now it’s on its last legs. The shelves fall out and the back is coming off. Still, it’s moved across two states and housed my favorite books for over a decade. It wasn’t easy to part with.
I said as much to Justin. His response?
“Just throw away our love,” he sighed dramatically.
I stuck my tongue out at him and closed the library door.
After I moved the bookshelf I went through my piles of books. I was astonished at how many I’ve allowed to creep into my house. I used this three question checklist to cull out the books I’d keep from the books I’ll donate:
These questions made it a little easier to part with the books even though I still feel like I’m abandoning them. What if they don’t find a good home? What if they aren’t cherished and loved? I feel like I have to apologize to them. Write them a Dear John letter or give them the whole ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ speech.
But I only have so much room on my bookshelves so I had to choose.
In the end I hauled three baskets of books to be donated out to the car.
And then I look at the finished product and I’m happy with how the Great Book Purge of 2015 turned out.
I even found a pretty good pile of books I haven’t read and would like to read.
I’m celebrating The Purge by starting at the top of this pile and working my way down.
What’s essential on your bookshelf? Leave a comment! Don’t want to leave a comment? Send me an email at gettingthewordswrong (at) gmail (dot) com.