Friday, December 11, 2015

5 More Absurd Ways to Judge Books or More of What I Learned from Paring Down My Library

1. All the books with Queen Elizabeth I on the cover made it into the keep pile.

2. Almost all of the philosophy went into the discard pile, with the exception of Wilde's Soul of Man Under Socialism.

3. 41 books I have never read made it into the keep pile, although Ms. Kondo advises that unread books will continue to go unread. The truth is, I have picked up and read (and loved) books after having them for years, so I'm not ready to give up those that still bring me joy.

4. I have now given away every book from my course on eighteenth century British literature except Belinda by Maria Edgeworth. Although I got rid of a few books recently, Pamela and Moll Flanders were flung out the second the class was over. I don't know why, but while I love sixteenth, seventeenth, and nineteenth century British literature, the eighteenth gives me the heebie jeebies for the most part (or just makes me yawn).

5. Books that were given to me by people who are no longer in my life went into the discard pile. It didn't matter even if it was a book that in other circumstances I would really want to read. Again, more sadly, the physical copy of that book embodied the person who gave it more than the content. I guess that's the corollary to the insta-keep books given to me by loved ones, which included books I would not have read otherwise.

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