Sunday, July 10, 2016

What Have I Done? by Robin Janney

It started out innocent enough.

My brother, who lives at home with our mother, commented to me a few weeks ago how he's been trying to get someone, anyone, to clean off some bookshelves in the hallway so that he can lay down new carpet and have more room to travel the hallway. He wears an artificial leg and having the bookshelves in the hallway makes it a tight navigation. If it wasn't done by the time he was ready, he was just going to risk mother's ire and just throw everything out.

Can't have that now can we?

So this weekend I went through all the books on the small antique bookshelf and sorted them out. It has to be antique; we've had it since as long as I can remember and I turn 40 in a matter of weeks!

Rather busting at the seams don't you think?
Now, I ask you: does it really look like I needed to bring more books home?  My bookshelf pictured to the right does not hold all my books even though it is packed, with books stacked on top of books. I have books scattered throughout the house, some sitting on my desk, some in the bedroom. I've been saying for years that I need to weed out my books, but I keep putting it off. Someday, someday. Although I will note here, that as I was discussing this with Mr. Janney - who thinks it's all rather funny that I came home with more books - he did say that one of the things he wishes to make for me is a better bookshelf, he's just not sure where to put it yet.

The scary part is, I haven't told our mother what I've done yet. She wasn't even home as she's been away visiting her sister. I messaged my own sister and another brother to let them know that there were books at mom's that they needed to go through, I added the 'they'll be thrown out soon' threat just to motivate them. Either way, Mother will be coming home to two small stacks of books that she can go through and make her own decisions about.

Sadly, I had to throw some of the books away. There were a few that somehow had water damage to them. Not a little damage either. And some of them had been worm food (I really, really, really hope I didn't bring any of them home with me!!!) And a couple were badly outdated.  Like the computer book from 1990!! One of the pictures in it featured an old dot matrix printer!!  I'm not sure where it came from, it sort of looked like a college book but may have just been a book we picked up at a yard sale. I didn't go to college until 1994 and the book would have been outdated even by then. Part of me wanted to keep it as a conversation piece, but I honestly don't have the energy for that.

It was an interesting bit of conversation time with my brother. I came across The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and he exclaimed, 'That's a good book. The boys need to read that.' (He has 3) Whereas I - can't even remember if I've read the book in it's entirety. And The Red Badge of Courage; I know I've never read that one and he has. Apparently one of the reading classes he was placed in during middle school read a bunch of classics that year. He told me he was thinking about reading Shakespeare (and maybe Dickens since he quoted one of the lines from A Tale of Two Cities) and wanted to know if I thought it was worth it. Wellllllll, I liked Hamlet and Merchant of Venice was ok. At one point he said to me, 'How is it we've collected all these books over the years, but we don't have one copy of Moby Dick?' Another book on his wish list to read. Uhm, not sure.

Some of the books turned out to be mine anyway, which I'm not sure how I lost track of them but it happens. Like the one book I was looking for when I was clearing the shelves off; Job's Niece. I have no idea where it could have went to. And then brother tells me there are boxes of books out in the shed.


Well, that's a project for later.

In the meantime, I have to figure out what to do with the three little shopping bags of books I brought home. Although to be honest, it's more like two and a half since there was a small plastic box of recipe cards in the one bag. When I pulled them out and looked at them, I said, 'Hey, I think these are mine!' I collect recipes just like I collect books!

And I just got done talking with my mother about all this and she was okay with it. Whew! At least I'm not in trouble with mom or hubby then!

I might write about the different books as I read them, some of them are old. We'll see! I have to get done with the Harry Potter series first, I'm on The Half-Blood Prince.

How many of you are like me? More books than space? But it doesn't stop you from bringing home more? Have you read all the classics or like me, are you more 'hit and miss'?


  1. I'm like you,I have more book then space. I even have books on my kindle, lol.

    1. Just saw your comment Firebug! Somehow I ended up with credit on my kindle account, so even though I already have all these books to read...I just bought three more! One was a Stephen King novel, not sure how I'm going to be able to read that and sleep lol