Monday, 10 August 2015

It isn't exactly a contest

but my friend H and I have been considering who has the most books.
Unlike me H is nobly doing a clear out. She is getting rid of things. I know I should do the same. Well I did do a little recently - but not nearly enough.
But, back to the books. There were books in piles by the front door. I finally managed to be rid of those. I had cleared out the shelves of a great many knitting related things. There were filled with patterns. I don't use other people's patterns so why was I keeping them. They were proper books too - not the little pamphlet/booklet type things that other people often refer to as books. Most of these have gone to the W....household because the teen knitting gang meets there and they still use those things. Where those things would be duplicated the duplicates have gone to the Guild. Right.
But what about all the other books?
I have books for work. I have a good many dictionaries. Someone asked about this recently. Why didn't I  use an on-line dictionary? It is not that simple. I might actually be using as many as four or five dictionaries at the same time. They will look like hedgehogs with little pieces of paper sprouting between the leaves. You can't do that sort of thing on line - well, I can't.
There are standard linguistic texts. There are also other language related books - everything from a work about Maori grammar to one about teaching Gaelic. (Yes, I have read and used those.)
There is half a row of baby-name books. I know that sounds odd but those baby name books are actually essential references for me.
There are cook books. I cleared a lot of those out some time ago. They belonged to my mother. I had not as much as opened them in a decade. I left the ones I consult.
There are the serious knitting reference books - a surprising number of those - and knitting books I want to keep because they contain information or inspiration or...well, something. You do understand this don't you?
There are essential travel texts, maps, street directories, books about art, science, history, music, psychology, medicine and more.
There are all the books for children. Almost all of these are out of print books. They are essential reference material and they are still essential reading for local children who no longer have access to them. I worry every time I loan one out that I may not get it back - but books must be read.
There are books both the Senior Cat and I have read but we don't want to be parted from. I sometimes refer back to them.
The Senior Cat has a library of conjuring, gardening, woodwork, religion, philosophy and psychology. His shelves are  in danger of collapsing under the weight. 
We buy more books. I pounced gleefully on a book in the charity shop. It is out of print and it goes into a series for children. Mmmm.
I suspect H and I might be about even in the numbers stakes.
What I am fairly certain of is that a certain literary agent of my acquaintance has far more than either of us. I suspect C needs another room or two to hold her collection.
Books make excellent insulation.


jeanfromcornwall said...

"Books make excellent insulation" I have always thought that was MY line! Yes I clear things out regularly, but the joy of that is that I can then fit something else in!

Carole Blake said...

I empathise - and sympathise - with every line of this, except perhaps about keeping paper dictionaries. And your last para contains truth, but under estimated. I think perhaps an extra whole apartment is required. Sigh ...

virtualquilter said...

I have lots of insulation too ... though sometimes I move a book out of the insulation to read it, or refer to it if it is a reference book of any sort. I also make the odd book, trying to work out ways to hold pages together in some way, then add them to shelves and piles of insulation!

catdownunder said...

If you had my job Carole then even you might find it easier to use books - I am working in multiple languages and specialist vocabularies and I would need multiple computers with multiple screens to be efficient.
Jean, our problem is that the rate of acquisition is greater than the rate of removal.
Judy - books as well as stash? Oh dear.