Divesting books

Anyone with a library of some size understands this dilemma: No matter how many built-in shelves, ply-board units or cardboard boxes, there's never enough storage for that burgeoning biblioteca.

We live in a tiny house and I have books squirrled away in more places than yarn. There are books on the tiny shelves underneath my desk, in knitting bags, the kitchen, under the coffee table, tucked into the crawl space, stored in boxes and lining the walls of the basement. There are books scattered on every surface of my office, in the bedroom, and, predictably, the bathroom.

This weekend, Mitch moved a steel shelving unit into the basement to enhance our storage options. This required removing the dusty tomes from another groaning bookshelf and shuffling everything around in our crowded spider-filled "garden level." We used this as an opportunity to cull, not the easiest exercise for someone like me who hangs onto books like they were lower teeth.

Kant stayed. Scott Turow...auf wiedersehn. Gatsby's in. Peggy Noonan...out. Simone de Beauvoir, oui. Megatrends 2000, no. American Colonia Homes? Sorry, no room at the inn. Intro to Fortran? History. Deborah Tannen's You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation? Gone. (Last night notwithstanding, if we don't have the marital communication thing down after almost 20 years, we'd need more than Deborah Tannen.)

All in all three boxes of books found their way into the Goodwill pile.

What did I do after that salutary chore? Bought Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day at the brand-new independent bookstore walking distance from our house...

Comments (5) -

April 6. 2009 11:05


Wow.  North Tennyson is really the happening place.  I'll have to make the trek soon since I haven't even visited Posh in its new location.  After 20+ years in Capitol Hill I've moved to Lakewood near Belmar so I imagine that driving anywhere will no longer seem like a trek and I'll break out of my neighborhood cocoon more often.  Congrats on the spring book cleaning -- I broke my book accumulation habit the year I moved three times, twice cross-country taking only what I could fit in my two-door Subaru.  It helped that a year later I began working at Tattered Cover with its generous employee book borrowing policy [shockingly I only used my employee's discount for gifts] and reader's copies galore.  And that Denver Public Library is so well-stocked.  However, I still have some volumes I can't let go.  It did take a while to get used to rooms without full bookshelves on each wall.  Best interior decorating scheme in my opinion.

Harper |

April 6. 2009 13:42


Pretty often, I make bread from that book. It's *very* good.

Roxanne |

April 6. 2009 18:44


Bravo!  Bravo for keeping Kant.  I have your love of books and book collecting.  I could never part with my Marx, Lenin, Amundsen, or Nansen.  Or my Hillerman. Or my Nevada Barr or Kathy Reichs.

I am blessed with living quarters that have room for my collections.  But in the space you describe I can agree with most of your culling.  

But bravo for your bread baking purchase and support for local booksellers!! Alas where I live amazon.com is my lifeline...an order is on the way as we speak.  Smile

John |

April 7. 2009 01:21

Deborah Robson

I think of books as insulation.

Also, they breed, you know.

Deborah Robson |

April 9. 2009 12:04


I have that bread book from the library!  It's amazing and I'm going to try it out this weekend.  I might buy it for myself for my birthday!

5elementknitr |

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