Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Getting Rid of Books

The New York Times has published an article called Books You Can Live Without in which they invited some "book people" to give their thoughts on culling personal libraries.

Running out of space for books is a problem for quite a few Abbey's customers, and there is some good advice in this piece if you are facing this problem yourself.

The contribution I enjoyed the most, however, was by the novelist Joshua Ferris, author Then We Came to an End and the forthcoming The Unnamed. He opened with "Get rid of books? Are you kidding?" and closed with this: "Sometimes when I hear of a book I want, I buy it and then I put it away with every reassurance that it will be read soon, forget about it, hear about it again, buy it again, and only realize my mistake when I place it next to its twin on the bookshelf. It’s an addiction of good intentions.

Books are notes from the field, bound and domesticated, life brought into narrow focus. Get rid of a book? No way. Every one is a brick keeping the building standing. Books are my life. I leave and come back, and the books I find there tell me I’m home." Dave

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