I love books
I really do. My first proper job after graduating was managing a book shop. I have worked in the library service. I love visiting bookshops. My favourite one at the moment is Scarthin Books in Derbyshire. If you have never been, you are in for a lovely surprise. Independently owned, it is an Aladdin’s cave of books. It has a lovely cafe and a wonderful view. Even the loo is worth a visit.
It is tough letting go
I have all sorts of books, novels, travel books, cookery books. And it is hard to part with them.
I have spent the last year weeding out my collection of books. I had too many. I need to declutter. I have probably got rid of over half my collection and the Jane Austen and Bronte novels I bought in the 1970’s were the first to go. That was hard. I knew that I would never read these editions again (I will re read the novels again and again) because the print is too small for me to read.
The process of deciding which ones to part with involved a lot of emptying of shelves and stacking of books. And a lot of dusting.
These are in the kitchen and are all cookery books, with one or two gardening grow your own type books (I plan to and never do).
Two book cases in the dining room, full to brimming.
The collection in the sitting room.
The ones I am thinking about donating or maybe not.
I was tempted by a bargain book at the Green supermarket a couple of weeks back and as documented in a earlier post, I did not fall to the temptation.
I won’t be without my best friends though because I can get all these lovely books, for free at my library.
Twice a week I got to Make Friends with a Book, a shared reading group, that has four groups in Sandwell Libraries. I love the going, it is so relaxing and everyone is so welcoming and friendly. I am
a little bit a lot biased as I was part of the team that sourced the funding, five years ago, to bring shared reading to Sandwell. The groups share short stories, novels and poem, all read aloud. There is always tea of course. The conversations that we have, when reflecting on what we have heard are always interesting. On Monday I admitted to being very much like the young boy in Powder, who, as he always thinks ahead, numbers his coathangers. (I don’t number them, I do have a system though).
As well as meeting to share books, the group have gone on theatre visits too. Most recently to see a Christmas Carol at the Birmingham Rep. they have also been to Stratford to see The Tempest and All’s Well that Ends Well.
Many of the short stories we read are from a collection put together by The Reader Organisation, who were the pioneers of shared reading with their Get into Reading groups. The facilitators of Make Friends with a Book in Sandwell were trained by them.
To find out more about shared reading in Sandwell visit the Make Friends with a Book website here.
I am looking for a good home for my collection of feminist novels by Fay Weldon and my Harry Potter books.
Addendum August 2017
The collection has been significantly reduced. I no longer have any book shelves. The Harry Potter books survived the cull.