I’d Rather Rotate Crops than Book Purge

Dave in this kind way of his that defies reason, except insofar as it kind of explains how he manages to  love me, mentioned a few weeks ago that perhaps I could go through some of my books.

“Just give some away,” he said, as if that were the easiest thing to do on earth.

He doesn’t know that I know he is farming me, I think as he walks away without making eye contact. The guy was planting a seed. I am the dense soil; he is the farmer. Action wasn’t expected. As all good farmers do, he sent up a prayer and moved on.

Imagine shelves lined with books neatly arranged according to genre and author. Now picture the exact opposite.

bookshelf

I could get a clear shot of this one because it is still pulled out from the wall from when the cable guy was here two weeks ago.

I’m trusting you with this image to not think less of me. Sharing’s not easy.

In my defense, my family isn’t great at respecting the boundaries of each other’s cornfields. Under the cover of darkness they have willfully turned my “office” into a memorabilia and mystery laundry purgatory.  Sure the farmer and the chillin’ give lip service to the contrary, but in truth my “office”  is a rather cushy storage area  for everyone in the family’s crap. Instead of an office, or even a  junk drawer, what we’ve got here is  junk room. In the clan’s defense, I’m certain that someday in the future everything in my “office” will be critical for our continued existence.

But when Farmer Dave throws his empty suitcase in here with the intent of  someday returning it to its appropriate closet – or should I say stall -   I know the end – the one where my office is nothing more than a glorified silo  – has arrived.

This morning I was in the middle of searching for a book in my glorified silo,  the title and subject of which now elude me, when I switched gears, probably because of that pesky little seed Farmer Dave planted in my not-so-fertile mind. For around five minutes I gave this massive book depository of mine, located in an untended field of sawgrass rug, my full attention.  Since I am now writing this, it’s pretty obvious that this attention didn’t last.

A year or so ago I decided to divest  myself of some of my library through Book Mooch. The initiative resulted in a full day spent on this exchange website listing books, followed by another full day at the office store where I stood confounded in an aisle considering envelopes. Bubble lined, or not? Perhaps color coded? Why are these pretty colored ones less expensive? Is something the matter with them? What size address labels? Oh, what about return address labels? Should I buy a postal scale? Isn’t this getting ridiculous?

When a fellow Book Moocher – one who quickly snagged my copies of both The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and Water for Elephants – noted my enthusiastic start, she gave me some advice. She suggested that I only list ten or so books and only ones I knew were in high demand. That way I’d enter ten books, they’d be gone by the end of the day, and I could mail them all at once. I could then sit back and “mooch” some books back for myself. Not exactly zero population growth for the shelves, but it was a well-intended start. Let’s call it “rotating crops.”

Even though he’s damned nice, the farmer doesn’t understand the degree to which considerations such as Book Mooch, used bookstores or Amazon – heaven forbid, don’t get me started on the perils of Amazon – can keep me stuck until next Tuesday. Looking up several hours later I would find myself surrounded by Eiger-esque piles of books, in the middle of this possession purgatory. Should I write about it or make a lame attempt to purge? Either way, resistant soil’s going to do what it’s going to do.

Comments

  1. says

    I’m feeling ya! I have boxes of books that I’m finally, FINALLY going to donate to the local thrift shop because I feel like I can’t breathe. But, oh, the memories of some of these books! It’s like saying goodbye to a good friend….

  2. says

    I’m feeling ya! I have boxes of books that I’m finally, FINALLY going to donate to the local thrift shop because I feel like I can’t breathe. But, oh, the memories of some of these books! It’s like saying goodbye to a good friend….

  3. says

    When we took off in the trailer the hubby had the freightliner that pulled said trailer built. He had compartments especially made for our books. There are two rather large bookshelves at the back of the trailer in the “entertainment center stuffed so full of books the shelves have collapsed under their own weight and they are now being held up by the books underneath.

    And this is AFTER we purged our book collection. *sigh*

  4. says

    When we took off in the trailer the hubby had the freightliner that pulled said trailer built. He had compartments especially made for our books. There are two rather large bookshelves at the back of the trailer in the “entertainment center stuffed so full of books the shelves have collapsed under their own weight and they are now being held up by the books underneath.

    And this is AFTER we purged our book collection. *sigh*

  5. says

    “He doesn’t know that I know he is farming me, I think as he walks away without making eye contact. The guy was planting a seed. I am the dense soil; he is the farmer. Action wasn’t expected. As all good farmers do, he sent up a prayer and moved on.”

    I love this farming metaphor and this paragraph in particular. Especially the part where he sent a prayer and moved on. Sounds like a familiar dynamic in my house. Except my farmer doesn’t say anything directly. He kind of looks at my weeds, moves them around a bit, his muscles tense, and he moves on. It’s then up to me to intuit what he wants (I do) and act on it (I don’t, usually).

    And seeing your bookshelf and hearing of your silo? Helps me feel like I’m in good company.

  6. says

    “He doesn’t know that I know he is farming me, I think as he walks away without making eye contact. The guy was planting a seed. I am the dense soil; he is the farmer. Action wasn’t expected. As all good farmers do, he sent up a prayer and moved on.”

    I love this farming metaphor and this paragraph in particular. Especially the part where he sent a prayer and moved on. Sounds like a familiar dynamic in my house. Except my farmer doesn’t say anything directly. He kind of looks at my weeds, moves them around a bit, his muscles tense, and he moves on. It’s then up to me to intuit what he wants (I do) and act on it (I don’t, usually).

    And seeing your bookshelf and hearing of your silo? Helps me feel like I’m in good company.

  7. says

    OHMYGOD! My darling who knows nothing of reading or the love of books can’t stand the pile by my bed and does not understand the comfort of the spines. Men.

  8. says

    OHMYGOD! My darling who knows nothing of reading or the love of books can’t stand the pile by my bed and does not understand the comfort of the spines. Men.

  9. says

    I donate them to the library, where I can pick up those donated by others. The library sets them aside and sells them for a buck or so, and everyone rotates their books for a while. I have some Times Illustrastred Cookbooks from the 60′s that are perfectly happy to remain around my kitchen until my children borrow them for their kitchens.

  10. says

    I donate them to the library, where I can pick up those donated by others. The library sets them aside and sells them for a buck or so, and everyone rotates their books for a while. I have some Times Illustrastred Cookbooks from the 60′s that are perfectly happy to remain around my kitchen until my children borrow them for their kitchens.

  11. says

    Sometimes I do a purge and donate the books to the library. That way, they are there should I want to go see them or read them again. I know they aren’t necessarily my copies on the shelf, but I pretend they are and it makes me feel better on some level. It’s kind of my “extended storage” plan.

  12. says

    Sometimes I do a purge and donate the books to the library. That way, they are there should I want to go see them or read them again. I know they aren’t necessarily my copies on the shelf, but I pretend they are and it makes me feel better on some level. It’s kind of my “extended storage” plan.

  13. says

    I have three piles of magazines to weed through and books to give away and sell. boo hoo for me. :( try selling some on half.com but it is so hard, once I love one I keep it, I sell my college books though.

  14. says

    I have three piles of magazines to weed through and books to give away and sell. boo hoo for me. :( try selling some on half.com but it is so hard, once I love one I keep it, I sell my college books though.

  15. says

    I don’t think less of you, if it makes you feel better–looks 10 times better than my bookshelf hehe.

    That’s true what you say, so you may as well go on and write about it. :)

  16. says

    Oh my goodness, I went through a “moving stage” where I moved often for a while – and threw away things every time.

    But NEVER the books! Jeez – those are like my kids!!

  17. says

    Purge schmerge. I ADORE my books. I want to keep everyone for all time. Books are precious a piece of another world you can enter at will, like magic, and be transported anywhere you want to go, even another time!

    There are the occasional ‘junky’ paperbacks that I will part with, a distracting bit of fun but nothing special. And I found Paperbackswap.com, while an awesome idea, simply too much work to keep up with.

    So I am back to keeping my beloved books. And don’t even get me started about the Kindle: the anti book. lol

  18. says

    Purge schmerge. I ADORE my books. I want to keep everyone for all time. Books are precious a piece of another world you can enter at will, like magic, and be transported anywhere you want to go, even another time!

    There are the occasional ‘junky’ paperbacks that I will part with, a distracting bit of fun but nothing special. And I found Paperbackswap.com, while an awesome idea, simply too much work to keep up with.

    So I am back to keeping my beloved books. And don’t even get me started about the Kindle: the anti book. lol

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