Sunday, 27 October 2013

When the bookshelves are full...

What do you do? Operate a policy of ‘one in, one out’? Have a massive cull and take a rucksack-full to the charity shop? Buy a Kindle (so as to add surreptitiously to the store of available books)?

I’ve done all of the above.

But the roofer comes next week to replace the roof-tiles on our house, so I thought I’d better check out the loft. And among the Christmas decorations, old drama props, files of Things that Must be Kept for the Tax Man (self-employed people must keep seven years' worth of financial records), old sails and boat bits, I found several boxes of books.


The answer is that The Professor and I have a fundamental incompatibility. He can’t throw out books, and I can.

A book I think I’ll want  to read again obviously has to stay on the shelves. Reference books stay on the shelves. A book I’m pretty sure I won’t bother to read again goes to the charity shop. But what good is a book that lives in a box in the loft?

He thinks that one day he’ll want to look at it, and there it will be. I think it’s doubtful that he remembers what’s up there, and it would be too much trouble to get up there and find it even if he did.

But as those books are ones he’s bought, I don’t feel I can make an executive decision and just dispose of them.

And of course, there are still boxes of the children’s books discarded by our offspring, but which they asked us to store …

There’s something wrong somewhere. Do you have books in your loft?


Backstreeter said...

A box full or diaries I may reread one day. Childrens books and comics too. But both my wife and me cull our books regularly so they never get to the roof.

Jan said...

Thanks, Backstreeter. I suspect that our book boxes have been there ever since we last decorated and reorganised our shelving - I don't remember anyone actually putting books up there!