Free Week and I meant to have a guest, but an author I asked had a lot of commitments, so she asked me to check back with her, but…guess whose mind got pre-occupied?

Very occupied, not just my mind, but my life and my house. Once the sons start shifting their living quarters around I lose room…and my mind. I have put my foot down about the things left from the last time they did this ,(and it seems there are changes to both at the same time or one right after the other). Let’s put it this way, a local charity thrift store is getting several big loads from here.

And from here, they are also getting quite a bit from my husband and me, and most of that has been [brace yourselves] books!

We have gone beyond book collecting straight into book-hoarding, and it hasn’t helped that the local library keeps pulling books off its shelves and tempts us with more every time we visit. Nor has it helped that I keep winning books from blogs, but I’m not stopping…and I’m not giving away my autographed copies, either!

There are certain books we will keep; there are certain types we will still buy, new or used. We will never have less than a couple of thousand books, I’m sure. What our sons will do with them when we die, (besides curse them), I haven’t figured out yet.

At the library, I will keep picking up books I have read and loved or real classics and always real poetry anthologies. Those are so hard to find. If you find any poetry books, they often have a few really famous poems by classic writers and number of modern ‘classics’. I’m not knocking modern poets, as I am one, as is our Hound here, but to find lesser-known poems from the great poets is difficult, as are many who were not as famous; poetry just doesn’t have a place in much of modern society. It’s a crime.

Libraries only have so much room, I understand. They have to make room for all the newly published works…you bet I understand, but I put off reading many books, fiction and non-fiction, hoping to get to them later. Can you guess how few I have found again? Many are impossible to find even through inter-library loans and if they are listed for sale on-line, they are asking collectors’ prices. I’d never be able to afford them.

I can’t seem to resist buying a dictionary or thesaurus. I have one or two at every desk…and dictionaries in Latin, Spanish, French, Italian, German and a Yiddish one,(I have no idea why). I even have one for Klingon…really, I couldn’t resist it.

When my oldest son was in high school, he had an assignment to collect poems about one subject and since he was into trains, (and not into poetry), he wanted to collect poems about them . That proved to be very hard before the internet was in full force, but he managed to find enough of them to get an A+ for originality. There were none in the books on the shelves of our local library.

If you go to nearly any library you can look up Boris Pasternak and probably find a copy of Doctor Zhivago, yet he wrote so much more. His poetry is among my favorite works. The same problem affects the works of Leo Tolstoy. With the multitudes of writings Tolstoy accomplished, few are seen. You can more than likely find a copy of War and Peace and you will ALWAYS find a copy of Anna Karenina, which is a real shame. That is his worst work, unworthy of him. He did it when old, tired and strapped for money. He was talked into doing it as a series for a magazine. He threw most of it out and his daughter pulled the pages out of the trash to send off because they were broke. Too bad; she should have left them there. His short stories are incredible. If I see any more of their works, I’ll be inclined to pick them up, but I’ll never find one at a library sale.

We have a ridiculous number of children’s books and I’m still looking for more of the classic Golden Books and Rand McNally Elf books that I loved as a kid. I will hold onto a few that I read over and over to the grandkids, too, but really, there are too many here that some other children might be thrilled to have. Many years ago I sent quite a number alone with toys and clothing when Jamaica was ravaged by a hurricane. And there are many books given to the grandkids that they have read, but won’t again. I have a request from Grandson to please keep his Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl and Chronicles of Egg books among a few others, but most of the mysteries are on their way out, along with the redundant nature books…where did they all come from?

Husband is thinning out his collection of sport autobiographies, non-fiction, military and extra copies of historical and religious works. We still have so many more. I am clearing out novels I know I will not read, biographies that don’t have special meaning and no reason to be kept. Humor books that we all enjoyed can stay, but not all of them, not once the grandchildren finish them.

I have a number of school-age books on history, archaeology and the like but my sons hardly used them and the grandkids do their research on line more often than not. I’ll keep some, the rest are being pulled.

How many huge books of classic opera stories and music does anyone need? Most of you would probably answer ‘None!” There are three on the shelf in my bedroom, but not for long. I will make the decision on which one stays. I never even listen to the opera broadcasts any more, and have not attended one is over 20 years.

The needlework books and gift–crafting ones that I will never get to or use again will be better served making a little for charity and into someone else’s talented hands, as have so many of my cookbooks. I still have plenty of those and some I will eventually give to the granddaughters,(or grandson, if he is so inclined), but I had so very many, including specialty ones that I never used even when I had my bakery/restaurant, that there is no reason for them to be here. I often prefer to develop my own recipes anyway. My mother’s unused Italian cookbook will never leave, nor will the Italian cookbook that was my priest’s late mother’s (She lived to be 97 and had all her marbles, She was a real piece of work!), Nor will others that are meaningful, others that belonged to friends, but the rest are out of here.

What about you? Do you keep books?

Many people keep none whatsoever. I can’t imagine that but I know that when I read that a man’s house in India collapsed from the weight of his books I knew that ours was in real danger as well.
As is my sanity.

We have shelves everywhere but not enough to hold the multitude. I need a more orderly house and I need to be able to find what I’m looking for, (although, I usually can put my finger of a particular book pretty quickly under the circumstances.)

Do you live in a library?

(Don’t even get me started on all  the VHS tapes and DVD’s! Many of those are also in the boxes ready to be carted out, if not gone by the time you read this.)


About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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7 Responses to Overbooked

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I have a lot of books in my house, too! I need to go through and thin out my shelves, as soon as life slows down a bit. I’ve got textbooks I bought for my kids (both girls decided that since I paid for the books, they belong to me!) and reference books from my days teaching elementary school. Those can hopefully help a new teacher. I’ve also got lots of paperbacks picked up at yard sales and library sales. And then I’ve got autographed books I won’t part with. Another thing to add to my to-do list!


  2. Truly my house is unruly! I finally got Joe in gear when I mentioned his mother. I had threatened to move out of our bedroom, (he knew that was an empty threat),I had threatened to torch the house,(he knew that was PROBABLY and empty threat). However, I reminded him that his mother sometimes had 12 kids at home and you could always walk into her house and it was in great shape, he conceded. I used to have a presentable house. but I seem to move stacks of books from one room to another now.Enough is enough!


  3. Helen Pollard says:

    We have managed to thin the “books we want to keep and may re-read” pile, but unfortunately our “books to read” piles only get bigger! I finally succumbed to a Kindle last year, mainly because there were e-books I wanted to buy, and I thought I would hate it, but it has grown on me (although I still love to hold a ‘proper’ book). My daughter helps out in a charity shop and they have so many paperbacks that they just can’t sell – it seems everyone is getting rid of their books and nobody wants to buy them anymore. 😦


    • The local St.Vincent de Paul store does a brisk business in book sales here, Helen. I , too, would rather hold a real book, but I got a tablet almost two years ago just for the ebooks people wished to give to me, (or sometimes they are the only ones available). Also, I can ‘borrow’ books online and I was tired of trying to just sit at the computer to read them.I don’t get them read as quickly as ‘real’ books,I will admit.
      As for my TBR list…it’s sky-high! Thanks for coming in.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. jeff7salter says:

    Over the years, I have donated tons of books to Goodwill or Salvation Army … but somehow I always manage to maintain tons. Can’t resist a good book sale.
    While I was a member of two different book clubs, they kept having sales and I was usually a sucker.
    Unfortunately many of my books are not in storage, where they will remain unless/until we ever get a handle on the rest of our clutter.
    Oh well.
    I love books. Being a professional librarian for nearly 30 yrs was no accident.


  5. pjharjo says:

    You might want to check out one of my RWA chapter members’ books. She writes inspirational poetry and short stories. Google her at Debbie Lee.
    LOL! I loved the “Klingon” dictionary mention! Sounds like something Sheldon on Big Bang Theory would KILL for!! LOL!
    “Lived to be 97 and had all her marbles,” Bless this lady’s heart. I know a little old lady like that in my church. I can’t help but wonder why some people are allowed to live out long competent lives like that, and others (my parents, for two) aren’t?
    Yes, I keep books. I have 2 five tier floor to ceiling bookshelves. They are filled with books that I can’t imagine parting with. I’ll probably never touch them again, unless I move. I admit, I’m a book hoarder.
    “Many people keep none whatsoever. I can’t imagine that but I know that when I read that a man’s house in India collapsed from the weight of his books I knew that ours was in real danger as well. As is my sanity” LOL! You mean my downstairs neighbors are in danger of my book room collapsing into one of their bedrooms??
    I don’t REALLY live in a library. There’s my bookshelf room and an end table in my living room with a growing stack of books on it. I guess my neighbors need to be afraid I might drop into their living room, too!
    I always alphabetize my books when I shelf them on move in, but such order vanishes over the years. Sometimes I can find what I search for right away, but sometimes I am forced to look for an inestimable amount of time. GRIN Hey! At least I know what room they’re in! LOL!
    My tapes and CDs are in even worse order. 🙂 They’ll probably never leave my premises until I die, either.

    Sorry this is so late!



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