This post is not about gardening.
Oh dear God, the books.
From the time I learned to read, it has been my hands-down favorite thing to do. As a child, there wasn’t much money for books. Those I got, I kept in pristine condition and read over and over and over.
In fact, I still have a lot of them.
Today, books are reminders of certain times in my life. Usually, I remember how old I was when I read something. Where I was working. Who I was dating. I still re-read books and have resigned myself to decorating schemes heavy on the shelving.
Like many readers, I have a to-read pile. Except that mine has grown from a pile to a shelf to… well, a full bookcase of its own. And that is simply too much of a good thing.
So, I’m treating my library to the same treatment that I give roses: a thorough and pitiless pruning. I’m cutting out the dead, the half-read and not-very-much-enjoyed, the hopelessly out of date. Those are the easy ones actually. Today I’ve also decided to cut out the books that I want to read (so very much) but just never will. The books that have come recommended and been given to me and I just… can’t. The books that have been on that to-read pile for more than a decade.
I want to be the person who’s read the collected short stories of Alice Munro, who actually liked West With The Night (I’ve started it dozens of times and abandoned it after 10 pages each time), who has read the complete works of William Shakespeare, who can tackle the grim fiction of Joseph Heller and Jane Hamilton. But I’m not.
So, they’re off to the used book store. Perhaps someone else will find a new friend in their pages. Meanwhile, I’m going to enjoy the lighter, airier feel of a to-read pile that contains only exciting opportunities and not an iota of guilt.
Who knows? Maybe this will result in a surge of new growth and overall better health. It certainly does with my roses.
All photos taken with iPhone. “Childhood Friends” used an Instagram filter.