"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Booked to go!

Books to go--Hillerman novels in front
How do you get rid of books? Actually you don't, because once read they're a part of you. But they do tend to accumulate.
Cleaning out shelves
I've tried a book sale, and that didn't work, other than just getting exercise carrying them out of the garage and back in at the end of the day. And yo can't just throw them away.
But I saw my opportunity as daughter Dallas and son-in-law Todd Bell want to open a bookstore in Canyon, Texas, and they're visiting garage sales and more, buying what they can. 
With her visit here this weekend, we started going through our shelves, and the ones under the bed, and in stacks on tables, and those in containers out in the garage, plus some from work. Some I'd collected and couldn't remember, or had never read, and they certainly went. 
So we started pulling them out, opening boxes, piling them up in various places in the house and garage to transfer  to her car. We filled her trunk and part of the back seat.
I think we parted with about 150 of them. Some you can't part with, yet--Heart of Darkness, Whitman, Blue Highways, A Moveable Feast, The Art Spirit, books given by my kids for Christmas, and so on. I still have my John McPhee and Ed Abbey and Ernie Pyle and Grizzly collections, my New Mexico and Larry McMurtry and poetry shelves, along with  my signed first editions. And of course my Dad's and my art books. Susan kept cookbooks and more.
From work
You go though the books, looking at the signed inscriptions on many, and the dates when I bought them. Lots of memories.  You start going through those, and you remember each one, and put a few aside to read again.
But I did give away my Tony Hillerman novels (except the first one, signed by him). I had many antique newspaper books, some writing books,  some 1920s novels, and gobs more, including National Geographic books.
Many of the recently bought and read books were easy to let go of. And I figured if many had been out in the garage for a while, they needed to go too--except for those special ones I don't have shelves for here.
What is amazing is I'm not sure you can tell we parted with any at all.


1 comment:

  1. Over the years we have given away hundreds of books. I have kept those that are special (I've read Blue Highways four times) and those with personal inscriptions and such. But now I use the library as much as possible and my kindle.

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