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Saturday, January 25, 2020

Culling Two Herds

Soon after building wall-to-wall bookshelves in the house we moved to ten years ago, we resolved to toss an old book each time a new one was added to our bulging collection. Many of those old books had been moved several times. The herd needed culling. Easy, right? Bibliophiles - Ever tried culling your book herd? How successful have you been? For this bibliophile, this morning's culling got a little more complicated because ... 

My new book journal discipline - also started ten years ago - was accompanied by another resolution: If a book didn't move me, I was done with that author. Given the number of authors I have not yet read and the new ones vying for attention, culling this second herd could help maximize remaining reading time, no? Bibliophiles - How do you keep yourself sane given the number of authors you want to try? (Aside: My author culling also applies to those I've read before. If the next title I pick by an old favorite falls flat - back catalog or otherwise-  game over.) OK, two herds to cull and now today's dilemma.

What to do with unread books by authors who ... 1.) haven't disappointed but ... 2.) I'm not excited about returning to ... when new books need space? As I decided what to keep and what to toss, I realized which authors have strongly spoken to and remained with me. Three Junes (Julia Glass) stayed on the shelf because of A Widower's Tale as did Kent Haruf's Eventide (based on Plainsong) and A Hologram for the King (Dave Eggers) because of The Circle. Of the pile now in my trunk waiting to be donated to the library of leftovers at Meals on Wheels, only one title went without any angst from this bibliophile. As for all my LPs? Don't ask, please.           


  1. As I read this, Martha is on the floor with stacks of books surrounding her, trying to discern which will be given shelf space, and which will be given away. For me, the rule is strict...when I buy a book, I pass along another. It feeds my need to give. Plus, our house is small and I despise clutter as much as I love to read.

    Thanks, Pat, for affirming and entertaining as always.


    1. D; Thanks to you (again). I've been culling this herd for a long time; afraid I haven't yet made the progress I would have liked. Oh well, tomorrow ...