Books

Discussion in 'Reading & Writing' started by James Hintze, Mar 22, 2021.

  1. James Hintze

    James Hintze Active Member
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    BOOKS


    Here comes something very sentimental and not very logical: MY BOOKS.


    Quick history: I grew up on a farm in a very remote area. Dad didn't read much outside of the newspaper. Mom and older brother were voracious readers. Mom subscribed to a book club that sent a new one each month. As a teen I did read a few of them, but not all. I recall a book shelf about 4 by 8 loaded by the black books from the subscription. The local drugstore had a few paperbacks, which occasionally found their way to Mom's collection. Our occasional trip to Idaho Falls (90 miles) always brought back a few paperbacks. When I finished my graduate studies in Austria, wife (Austrian) and I shipped back two 3 by 3 by 4 wooden shipping crates, one of which was loaded with books, which, 54 years later, I still have. During my time as a professor (22 years) I belonged to a scholarly organization, which, like Mom's, required the purchase of a book a few times per year. I have a number of those. To end this part I estimate that we have about a thousand books, stashed in three rooms and the garage. This, after we donated two large cardboard boxes to the county library. To end this part, I mention that when I went to the university library to get a book I needed for teaching and research, I had to stop and browse here and there, and I miss the book stores that once were in the malls where I waited for wife.


    Now, here's the point of this screed: I haven't opened many (most?) of them for years. If I have the need or wish to read one of them, or refresh something I researched or taught decades ago, I search for it on the internet. Most of the old technical books are out of copyright, thus available online. My kindle stash has many downloads, including some things in my collection. So what's the issue here?


    Wife and I are considering moving to a “Village” for elders. My Books??!!!?! I FEEL them, even though I don't read them much any more. When we negotiate moving to one of the cottages or condoms, can I negotiate moving my collection to the “village” library? Many of them are in German. I'd feel good making the collection available to others, and even better if people snitched them for their own collection.

    When I spring this on my wife, a voracious reader who checks out many books from the county library, she will role her eyes and point out how ridiculous this is.
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I took out a wall between two bedrooms to form a library that takes up the whole back of my house, plus I have a ton of books in my office, a spare office, and more upstairs. Other than some that I lost when I flooded my house in the late 1980s, I still have pretty much every book I've ever read, and others that I intended to read, but didn't.
     
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  3. Tony Page

    Tony Page Well-Known Member
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    For fiction when I completed the books, I either given them to a friend or relative, or donate them to a charity or Library. For reference books like gardening, home repairs Etc I will hold these until I think I don't have a use for them. I do have a few fiction books that have sentimental value which I will hold and passed down to my children or grandchildren.
     
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  4. Lon Tanner

    Lon Tanner Veteran Member
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    No Comment
     
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  5. John Brunner

    John Brunner Veteran Member
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    When my mother passed away (I was in my 50s at the time), the only thing I looked for were the books I read as a child: Aesop's Fables, the collection of Dickens, the educational alphabet book where "X" is for Xerxes and not something insulting like X-Ray, etc. I am the exact same as you, James...they are never merely objects. And they are never to be destroyed.

    The only time I did not form a bond with my books was when I purchased a case of 200 Sci Fi paperbacks at a rummage sale. I mostly enjoy the dystopian theme, not the science fantasy stuff, so the latter were immediately taken to work where I knew others would enjoy them...I used them to start a book sharing club of sorts. The rest I read with great pleasure, getting introduced to authors I might never have otherwise encountered.

    The interesting thing is there were a couple of them I knew I would want to read again (so I kept them), but the rest went to work for the "Help Yourself" bookcase. I think that since I bought them in bulk that way--and they were not specific titles or authors I had sought out--I had not formed any type of bond with them.

    I could never see getting rid of my books. I still have college textbooks that I occasionally try to find a way to recycle and am kinda glad I haven't, as though some day I might need to crack one open to verify the internet definition of Promissory Estoppel. But seriously, it's as though throwing a given book away it destroying the knowledge contained therein. I also liken it to dropping a pet off at the shelter and abandoning it there...it seems such a heartless thing to do to a friend.
     
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  6. Trevalius Guyus

    Trevalius Guyus Well-Known Member
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    I think moving into a condom is ridiculous, professor!

    As for my books: I used to have a thousand, or more, books. They filled my library shelves, in my front room. This year, I vowed to start paring down the clutter in my life. I gave a good percentage of my books to Goodwill. It felt great. I don't miss them, at all, and my spirits are buoyed by the knowledge that others may have a good time reading what I gave away, and even learn a few things.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
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  7. Trevalius Guyus

    Trevalius Guyus Well-Known Member
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    Uh, Lon, what the heck is the point of commenting with a "No Comment" reply? You must be one, bored fellow, no?
     
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  8. James Hintze

    James Hintze Active Member
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    Thanks guys. I'm happy to see that this is an issue with other people.
     
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  9. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Veteran Member
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    We have thousands of books around the house that we have had for years. We recently have been off-loading some of the children's books that we accumulated during the years we had children at home and the 22 years of home-schooling. I read many books in electronic format now, but tire of have to constantly recharge them while my paper books are always ready for use. My reference books are always in paper format, and the recreation-only reading is usually electronic. Some of my old college texts I haven't used since I graduated, so I will get rid of those, but things that don't change, such as math and English literature I will keep until I die.
     
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  10. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Supreme Member
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    I hate to say this but these books are probably only valuable to y'all. We had a zillion books donated to the library over the years. A lot of them were outdated reference books. A lot of them were old fiction books. I was only able to keep a few of them. Almost no one wants read a fiction book that is over a couple of years old. They want the latest best sellers.

    I love books, too. But there was just not enough room for every book that was donated. I packed away the ones that I thought would sell. I kept them in a storage area. Then I would have a book sale in the fall. The ones that were not sold, I would eventually put in a free book area. As much as I disliked to, I finally had to put some of them in the trash.

    Some of them, I just could not throw away. So I kept them for myself.


    books.JPG
     
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