Thursday, 20 October 2011

Out with the old... Who keeps books as trophies?

It's a bold move for a librarian-in-training to publicly declare that they are getting rid of their beloved collection of books. Indeed, I feel nervous even writing my intentions. However, I have decided that I am going to do a major sort through of my collection of beloved friends and that it's time for a serious cull.

In doing so, I've had to think about why I have kept so many. Why am I holding on to these possessions that are mostly collecting dust? There's many reasons. Some I truly love, some are sentimental, some are the holders of my good intentions (one day I'll push past your first 100 dull pages and finish you!), and some I don't feel I've owned long enough to get rid of yet (consumer guilt I think). And some, well, some I have because I think I should.

I've had to establish some rules. Here they are:

Rule 1: If it is sentimental, then it stays. This includes books from my late maternal grandmother, (herself an avid reader), school texts with my teenage scrawl in the margins, and books that have been given as gifts or that I wish to pass down to my son.

Rule 2: If I truly, truly loved it, then it stays (going through them all, this actually doesn't apply to many)

Rule 3: If I haven't read it yet, then it stays (surprisingly applies to many many more than I thought possible!)

Rule 4: If I've read it, and none of the other above rules apply, then it goes.

I began writing this post a while ago, and the sorting is now done and dusted. I've given boxes of books to an op shop and have given dozens away to friends and family (share the love, I say).

But, my reading hasn't been hampered by this culling, and indeed, it has even increased.

Yes, that's right. I've bought a Kindle. And I think it's true love.

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