Sunday, March 1, 2020

Keeping Books I (Probably) Have No Use For, Just Because...

I'm not a total book hoarder. I mean, I do cull my shelves now and then. But because I have (occasionally) donated a book and then later regretted it (where are you now, A Field Guide to America Houses?) I tend to think twice (or three times or four times or...) before I remove a book from the shelf.

Book - A Field Guide to American Houses

For that reason, right now I have a whole bunch of books on the French language. Yes, I took four years of French in high school and a semester in college, but I really don't speak the language, I haven't visited France, and during my few trips to Quebec, my high school French proved to be horribly inadequate and I had to revert to English (much to the relief of the people I was speaking to). A need to know French is probably not in my immediate future. And yet...I have those books. (Note: knowing a smattering of French does come in handy when doing crossword puzzles. Thank goodness I devoted four and a half years of my life to delving into the language. Smile). (Also Note: I have no regrets about those four and a half years. It's a beautiful language, I was--weirdly enough, given my present inability to speak it or understand it other than in written form)--good at it, I learned a few things about French history and culture, and I enjoyed it.

French Language Books

And then--getting back to my eclectic bookshelves--there are the books on gardening (I have more than what's pictured below) even though I'm a horrid gardener and always have been (clearly the books aren't paying off).

Gardening Books

Of course, there are other books I have just because I like having them there (lots of history books) and I always hope that maybe someday I'll use them for writing a historical, even though it's been years since I stopped fiddling with writing historical romance and moved to contemporary romance. Speaking of which, why did I give away my copy of Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey? I loved that book!
Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey
In short, I hope that you too have books on your shelf that you love even if you never put them to use in your day-to-day life!

Best Wishes and Happy Reading,



Laney4 said...

I keep all books by four favourite authors (YOU, Annie West, Helen Bianchin, and Kate Walker). The rest of my romances go to my girlfriend's mom, who reads them then leaves them for others to read in her seniors apartment building. It's the ones I HAVEN'T read yet that take up the space. I stocked up on them ages ago and life keeps getting too busy to read as many as I'd like; I've read at least 250 books every year since 1973, so I want books available throughout the year. (At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.) Don't get me going on eBooks on my computer....
As for other types of books, I haven't kept much. I have a couple family bibles and a hymnary, several historical books regarding where I grew up and then THIS bunch: Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation! (I love going back through it - the title reflecting that it means two different things if you use a comma or not in it) ... Noddy Goes to Toyland (one of my faves when I started school) ... The World's Best Fairy Tales (from my elder sister when I was 10, in deplorable condition from overuse) ... Kids Cook Microwave (VERY simple recipes I often use and look forward to sharing with grandkids) ... The Pocket Cook Book (simple recipes again) ... and The Joy of Cooking (my encyclopedia if I'm too lazy to go online). I sold all my other books at previous yard sales through the years, so I feel like I've done well.
Books I love but don't put into use would probably be those historical ones written by people I know about places where I grew up and about PEOPLE I used to know way back too. Fond memories....
Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane. DO enjoy the rest of your week. My grandson had the flu on Sat (a week ago), his dad on Sun, my daughter on Mon, my husband on Mon, my son on Tues, thought we'd gotten through it by Wed, but no, my son got it again late Wed night, then I got it late Wed too, thought done, then Fri night my husband had it again. I had been cleaning door handles, light switches, the bathroom, etc. daily (except when I was sick in bed all day), but didn't do laundry till the weekend. I washed all blankets/sheets from our beds and around the house, the bathroom window/shower curtains, bath mats, etc. (14 loads in total). My guys bleached floors, all bathroom surfaces, all the knobs/light switches, railings, all non-rugged floors, plus dusted/vacuumed entire house. Anything that couldn't be washed went outside in the -15C/5F garage, like stuffed animals/toys and electric blankets. And today, Mon, we have all been flu free since Fri night (and feel wonderful). Whew!
Hope you have a healthy new year!

Myrna Mackenzie said...

Wow, 250 books a year? I'm thinking I might read about 150 (I usually average 2-3 a week), but I doubt I could fit in another 100. I am impressed.
And Eats, Shoots and Leaves? I remember when that was first published. Such a clever way of approaching punctuation. I still have all of my dictionaries (including visual dictionaries), my Chicago Manual of Style, Words Into Type and a couple of books on usage. Even though I could probably find all of that online, I like having it at my fingertips.
And oh my, my sincere sympathy on your family's flu experience. That sounds awful, especially getting the same thing again (and all the cleaning)! I'm so glad that you're all better now!
Thank you for checking in. It's always good to hear what you're up to.