So last Saturday, my last day in Belgium*, my mum informed me that I should “have a look through that one shelf of books” because anything I didn’t explicitly select for keeping was going to go. My brother and I went D: at her, because while neither of us care much for material possessions, we both have this sense that throwing away, or even giving away, books is Just Plain Wrong. I then went D: some more when i realised that what was on this shelf were a whole lot of children’s books.
“But. You can’t,” I said, aghast. “You can’t get rid of any of them.”
“Most of them are falling apart, or they’re stupid commercial series we never got more than half a dozen of,” she pointed out. “And there simply isn’t enough room for all these books.”
I conceded, because she did have point. The first thing one sees when one enters the house is a room full of books. It used to be the shop, long ago, and 70-80% of the walls are taken up by bookshelves, floor to ceiling. There’s more bookshelves on the upstairs landing, and a whole lot of books in boxes still. Some of these were inherited; there’s a whole shelf of truly magnificently old books that came from great-uncles on either side of the family, and most of the boxes came from my late uncle — and that’s with the majority of his books stashed at my gran’s, and with my paternal grandparents’s books mostly at my dad’s, and if you’re getting the impression that my family has book-loving genes, you’re absolutely correct**.
So I went through the books. Some of them were easy enough to part with, like the Disney books for kiddies and similar things. Some broke my heart, but I was strong and parted with them anyway — these included a bunch of books for very young kids, which I had fond memories of but which, really, there’s a gazillion of these kinds of “Up/Under” books. Some I had to admit really were too beaten up to keep, although I still put some of those apart and made my brother decide on them, because I like making others make the hard decisions for me.
But there were some that I just couldn’t part with, because there is just no way I could ever find them again for less than an arm and a leg, and I’d want to read them to my future nieces and nephews. (The wonderful children’s books by Jac Linders, with illustrations by Lie, for example, which are so very Seventies and yet so very fabulous and yeah.) Still, I think I saved about half a dozen, and left about the same number for my brother to decide on, and I know it was necessary and for the best but I’m still sad about the ones that had to go.
Books: They’ll break your heart. :(
* My mother’s habit of asking things at the last damn minute, often when people are about to walk out the door, is a frequent source of frustration for the rest of us. This, at least, was a relatively mild example. Sigh.
** When my paternal grandparents died six months apart, a few years back, it took nine (sets of) children(-in-law) plus a handful of grandkids several weeks to clear out the house, mostly of books. There were books in every room, often stacked along the walls for lack of shelves to put them on, and keep in mind that this house had a room for each of the nine kids, at least one spare bedroom, a master bedroom, an office, and an attic, and there were still books stashed in various other places downstairs. If I ever get a house, this is how I will end up. I have seen my future, and it is books.
In more cheerful news, my Ravelry invite came! I can now be find there as femgeek, for those of you who’re also there. (For those of you who aren’t, and have no idea what this is about, please ignore the yarn geek in the corner. Ahem.)
I’m trying to keep riding this wave of determinedly-doing-stuff I have going and, now that my flat is largely clean and my website is revamped, and my flist is reorganised and culled, the next thing on my Internet To Do List is to cull and reorganise my bookmarks. I’m removing comics I don’t really read anymore, and blogs/websites that do nothing but annoy me anymore. This is where you come in.
This is your chance to pimp links at me, although I’m going to be slightly picky.
- Gaming comics preferred, especially WoW-related ones.
- Alternatively, amusingly recognisable comics about Tech Support and/or call centres.
- Alternatively alternatively, historical stuff, boytouchig a bonus.
- I’m … not overly fond of a lot of anime-style drawings.
- I’m especially looking for feminist and feministy blogs, but also knitting/crafts blogs, or anything else interesting.
- Of the feminist stuff, I’d prefer WoC, older (”") women, disabled women, and (gender)queer/trans blogs.
- No radfems. I’m serious. (Too much exposure to the transphobia in radfem circles this past year, can’t stomach it at all anymore, even for posts I might have liked or even loved, sorry.)
- Oh, hell. Hit me. :D
- Oh, wait, any website with good info about he Renaissance and/or the history of knitting would especially be welcome.