I was trying to tidy up my office this past Sunday, so I decided to get rid of some of my old books. I love to read. I have lots of ucdm . Fiction books, nonfiction books, picture books, you name it. Three walls of my office are lined with books from floor to ceiling. There are books everywhere.
As I began to clean up my office I found that the most difficult task I had was getting rid of some old books. I couldn’t do it.
I’m sixty three now. I think that when we turn fifty we should make a resolution to give away one book for each new book we acquire. Looking around my office, I see there are books I will never part with. I figure if I’ve read a book and liked it and taken some part of the book into my life I should keep that book forever.
Take my hard back copy of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Capricorn. It doesn’t take up much room. It has an attractive white and red dust jacket for a cover. The picture of Henry Miller on the back gives the novel a distinguished flavor. I’ll keep Tropic of Capricorn. It’s evidence to those who visit me that I’m a very literate person.
Even though I may never take Tropic of Capricorn down to read it again, the presence of the book staring out at me everyday is a reminder of its titillating, erotic content.
Is it hot in here to you?
There are plenty of books in my office that are junk books that I’ll have no problem throwing away. Take this paperback copy of Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope. I can’t believe Obama had the audacity to write such tripe. Maybe I’ll keep the book to use as a doorstop.
I love fiction. A novel is the hardest for me to throw away. I could never throw away my paperback copy of Richard Wright’s Native Son, or my hard back edition of Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward Angel. The narrative drive in these novels, the characters, the enthralling story lines. No, I think I’ll keep these novels and others like them in a bank safe deposit box.
I have some real serious problems about what to throw out.
Take this big expensive, arty picture book: The Roman World. It’s a history of Rome. There are wonderful pictures in this book. It tells the entire history of Rome from the time the twin brothers Romulus and Remus founded Rome in 753 BC to the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 AD.
WOW. You didn’t know I knew all that did you, huh? That’s what happens when you have a lot of old books lying around. You do a lot of reading, and fill your head with tons of esoteric information. I can’t give The Roman World away. Whenever I try to throw it in the garbage the book sticks to my hand. What am I to do?
My old books look good on my shelves. I read the collected works of Dickens so long ago, I’ll have to read it Sunday to refresh my memory about the story line. I just remembered. The Bears play the Packers Sunday. Dickens will have to wait.
I’m looking at my bookshelf as I write. There’s Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. It’s a great book, but I won’t be reading it again. Oh, yeah. There’s Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. Great love story set amidst the struggle of the Bolsheviks against the Mensheviks during the Russian Revolution of 1917.
Didn’t know I knew all that kind of stuff did you. What?
Here’s a dog eared copy of Up From Slavery: The Autobiography of Booker T. Washington. If you ever want to know what it was like to be a slave in America you need to read this book. I mean Booker T. talks about being barefoot all the time, and eating his dinner off a dirt floor in a shack, Booker T said the shack had cracks in the walls big enough for him to see outside. Powerful stuff. No way am I going to throw Up From Slavery away.