Friday, December 08, 2017

Sorting Books

There's no longer any rhyme or reason to my books. Not any more. When I lived in Western Kansas I had solid walls of bookcases in my finished basement. I knew exactly where everything was.

But after two moves my books are in total disarray. When I lived in the apartment in Loveland I didn't have any storage. My books were in five different locations: the shelves I managed to squeeze into my office, basements or workshops at the three daughters, and, of course, crates and crates in a storage shed.

Since I've moved to Fort Collins, I have a lot more storage space. It's a mixed blessing. Books breed. In another life they were rabbits. They multiply.

My difficulty is compounded by the fact that I can't donate used books without carrying more books home than I took to the facility.

Yesterday I began the difficult sorting process. I took a number of books to a really safe disposal place. Loveland Friends of the Library has a terrific used book sale every year. The have a unique method for collecting books and have a large device like a weatherproof outside postal mailer that can be used 24/7. It's perfect for me! I open the little slot and shove in a book. It clanks shut and I can't see any other books inside the dark building where they prepare books for the next sale.

Moving right ahead to my daughter's home, I took a couple of empty crates down to her basement. Because of the strength involved with moving books I'll tackle her place a little at a time. Unfortunately the process was complicated by a rediscovery process.

Such wonderful books! Surely worth rereading. A huge stack went into that pile. Such treasures as James Michener's The Covenant. I collect Pulitzer Prize winners and Gone With the Wind caught my eye immediately. When one of the winners is also a best seller, there is something to gain by looking at it again with a writer's eye.

Then there is special place in my heart for autographed books. Especially if the authors are friends. It's more troublesome if I love the person but really don't care for their books. I can't bear to let them go but there's not a chance I will ever look at these books again.

There's another stack of books that were given to me at conferences or when I have been a judge in contests. Some of these find a new home as soon as the responsibility is over. Especially the ones I didn't care for at all. But a few stay.

There's a plaguy little pile of either academic books and books I feel like I really, really should read for my own good. Will I live long enough to tackle this assortment? For my own good. For my own good.

Then there's gift books from relations or friends. Some are beloved and some are not.

Happily the biggest pile contains books that I have loved all of my life. I'm going to reserve a special shelf, a place of honor for books that I treasure.

Someone else can figure out where to put them when I die.


Sybil Johnson said...

Oh, Charlotte, this sounds so much like me. I started working on getting rid of books awhile ago. Haven't gotten very far. I keep on rediscovering books I've forgotten I have. Someday, maybe, I'll get everything organized.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Sybil--Christmas is coming. I haven't even ordered my cards yet--and what do you know. I immediately picked up Gone with the Wind. It's creepy in that it seems brand new. Plus, I'm noticing so many things from a writer's viewpoint.

Sybil Johnson said...

It's always interesting to reread books. And it is so different to read from a writer's perspective. Haven't done anything about cards yet either. Sigh.

Marianne Wheelaghan said...

Charlotte your post made me laugh, you sound like me! Oh, I like Gone With The Wind, it's a classic!

Rick Blechta said...

I recently saw a bookcase...made of books (and boards for the shelves). A damn good idea, I thought. Great post. Thanks!

Charlotte Hinger said...

And to make things worse, I've gotten hooked on The Crown. It's like I'm in some kind of cationic stupor.

Irene Bennett Brown said...

Ah, Charlotte, you make me laugh, and laugh. Unfortunately, books piled on the floors of our spare rooms upstairs, are not funny. I so identify with your post.