Trying to Get Rid of Books

Coming to my house, people inevitably say “Wow, you have a lot of books!” or “You must love reading!” (which just amuses me to death because when am I NOT talking about books?). I have four bookshelves in the living room, one in the kitchen, two in each kids bedroom, and a huge one in the master bedroom. They are all overflowing with books. Books fall off at the least provocation. It really is likely that we have to many.

The problem lies in disposing of them. For the most part, I don’t buy books unless I know I’m going to love them and so how do I get rid of books that I love? How does anyone do this?  I’m really asking this as a question, people. I want to know: how do YOU get rid of books?

Here’s the thing: I have a couple bags of books I was willing to let go of. Most of them are Nick’s or the boys or things we purchased to meet some end, like Puppy Training or Tiger Cub Scouts guidebooks. But MY books?  I just can’t get rid of them.

I tried just tossing a few into the bag without thinking much of it. I let them sit there and then I looked at the holes on the shelves and the empty spot looked sadly back at me and I took the books out of the bags and put them back.

These aren’t inanimate objects. There are whole lives in these things. Lives of the characters, places I’ve been in my mind, events I’ve lived through. And not just things and people and places and events that are written about. Re-reading these books reminds me of where I was the last time I read them. People that interrupted my reading, events that took place while I was reading, places that I holed up in a corner and read in.

That’s why I’m having a hard time letting go. This is not just a hardcover copy of “Rebuilding Coventry” in my hand. It’s the story of how I read “Rebuilding Coventry” as a book borrowed from a beloved friend, returned it to her slightly unwillingly because it was so very funny, purchased after much searching by myself in various and sundry stores all over Texas, and then finally re-read during a really hard time where I thought I might just be going crazy after all and this book helped me hold it together. (Books help me hold it together A LOT.)

So I’m re-reading some of the books, trying to remember why I’m holding on to them so tightly, trying to say good-bye to some dearly loved “friends” that I’ve spent years looking at on my shelves.

And I can’t get rid of them all. I’m not trying to, I’m just trying to get it back to manageability. Trying to make space in my tiny, tiny house for other things that are important to us, like all our musical instruments (four musicians times at least two instruments apiece), and our Lego and craft creations, and our collection of things we’ve brought back from places we’ve visited and loved. These are all important, too.

Anyway, that is what is going on this end-of-the-week at my house. I’m wandering around, staring at the bookshelves, and dipping into books here and there. I’m reading and crying and reading some more. I’ve even put a few more books into the bag…IMG_2871


More organizing

I promised more organizing for the next day’s post and many days have gone by and I can’t remember any more what I organized, so I’m looking through my pictures to help me remember:

See, now my three-tiered shelf can be for pretties again!  (Temporary display for now; first things my hands came to)

See, now my three-tiered shelf can be for pretties again! (Temporary display for now; first things my hands came to)


This is our new art storage cart. I like that it has many drawers, so pens in one, markers, crayons, pencils, etc… I also like that it’s on wheels so it can live there in peace during regular life, or move to the kids room when Greg is on an art spree, or move into my room when we have guests over for dinner. 🙂


This doesn’t look as tidy as I’d like, but for a $3 over-the-door tie-and-belt rack, it does the job. No more lost belts & ties! Woo hoo!


Shoes are always going missing in this house, but NO MORE. Bottom two rows are Greg’s, next two are Ben’s, and next two are next-size-up for each of them (for those days when Daddy is impatient).

Honestly, I’ve gotten nothing else done since then, except a tiny bit in my makeup & hair boxes.  Steph and I did a writer’s retreat this weekend, which I posted about here(from a writing standpoint) and here (from an RA standpoint).  Since I’m still working on last month’s holidays, I brought her her family’s gifts, and she sent some home with me for the boys as well.

There were cards & gifts from another friend in there as well.  :)

There were cards & gifts from another friend in there as well. 🙂

The kids were out of school on Monday, so we had a quiet, fun day:

Greg pulled out his science kit and we spent quite a while trying out all its tricks.

Greg pulled out his science kit and we spent quite a while trying out all its tricks.

I remember playing on this with them when they were all babies!

I remember playing on this with them when they were all babies!

This sign on the door of the bathroom at the park cracked me up!

This sign on the door of the bathroom at the park cracked me up!

and worked in the garden. Ben had scouts in the evening. I don’t know that we should call it that anymore, as he’s the only one that ever shows up any more. *sigh*

Yesterday I didn’t have to work, but I did have a bunch of errands to run: a Goodwill drop-off where I spoke to a man named Ram about how God changed his life, a grocery store run to buy lunch makings since the kids had eaten them all up over the weekend, and then my book study on Raising Resilient Kids over at the PDC. After school Ben had dance, so Greg and I hit the dollar store so he could use some of his Christmas money. Then off to piano lessons, where we got a lesson on what goes on inside the piano and how all the pedals work. It was awesome!

Our teacher is super interesting!  :)  We love her!

Our teacher is super interesting! 🙂 We love her!

Today I was hoping to sub, but haven’t gotten a call, so I’m going to go off and work on some stuff in my bedroom, which has all the boxes of “doesn’t live here” from David’s room cleaning last week. It’s pretty scary and I’m tired of looking at them! Once I get done with that, it’s time for fun stuff: writing! 🙂

Last of the books 2012

Digging through the pile beside my bedside table, I’ve found five last books for the list:
49. Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card
50. Serving as Senders by Neal Predo
51. Hugo by Brian Selznick
52. The Tether End by Marjery Allingham
53. The Harp of the Grey Rose by Charles de Lint

So there you go. 🙂

Maybe I’ve read a little…

…but only just a little this year…


28. The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas

29. Petty Treason by Madeleine E. Robins

30. The Sleeping Partner by Madeleine E. Robins

31. Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi

32. Redshirts by John Scalzi

33. Caring for your Parents by Delehanty & Ginzler

34. The Magician and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett

35. A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch

36. Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch

37. Tuesdays at the Castle by George

38. Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

39. The Dead Witness: A Conniosseurs Collection of Victorian Mysteries

40. To Marry an English Lord: Or How Anglomania Really Got Started by Gail MacColl

41. Substitute Teaching from A to Z by Barbara Pressman

42. Stress Management for Dummies by Allen Elkin

43. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

44. Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold

45. Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro

46. A book so bad that I threw it away.  I’ve never done that before, but it was of the shockingly bad literary tradition that involves a girl who was raped before the book began who must save herself by having sex with a stranger by the end of the book.  It made me literally nauseated.

47-48.  I sent a stack of books home with Steph one day, forgetting to write them down long enough that the only part I remember now is that I only read two of the pile.  Whee!  (Maybe Steph knows…)


And that is it.  Nearly half of what I read last year.  Have I mentioned that I’ve been super-duper busy this year? *sigh*

I promise I do other things than read!

No really, I do.  And I will update about them tomorrow, once I’ve offloaded photos and videos and put away the dishes and laundry from the weekend.

23. Embers by Laura Bickle was one that I liked pretty well.  It was interesting to hear about the character’s past and the way her magic works.  I would read more of this series.

24. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson was given to me by my friend EH for World Book Night.  She loves this book, as do I, now.  It’s fiction; one of those slow, lyrical, wandering books where it feels like nothing happens, but a lot of things do.  Kind of the story of how one family falls apart, all from the point of view of the latest girl to fall apart.  I really loved it.

25. Messie No More by Sandra Felton is slowly changing the way I do things at home, which is amazing.  I am learning the how’s and why’s behind my housekeeping style and it’s been fascinating.  She explains several different ways/personalities/mental blocks that people get stuck in.  It has questions for you to answer at the end of each chapter.  I highly, highly suggest this book to anyone stuck in a rut.

26. Dark Mondays by Kage Baker is another of her short story books.  I keep expecting them to be from one of her book series, but mostly they’re not.  Until they are.  Yeah.  I’ve tried to slow myself down with these because there’s not a whole lot of Kage Baker left for me.  😦

27.  The Survivors Club by Ben Sherwood is non-fiction and tells stories about how people survived amazing catastrophes, accidents, and injuries and then how to apply that to events that might happen to you.  I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s been eye-opening.

books, books, books!

19. Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch

20.  Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

My husband stole these out of my giant-pile-o-Steph’s-books and devoured them first.  Then he kept leaving them out places and asking if I’d read them yet.  I took this as a hint that he wanted me to read them so we could discuss them.  So I read them.  They were super fun magician’s new apprentice novels, if gritty and gross at times.  Still need to discuss them with Nick.  Hoping there’s more to the series by now.  🙂

21. Thorns and Blossoms by Theodora Goss

Lovely little two-books-in-one, each told from a main characters viewpoint.  My only problem?  The “unique accordian style binding” that was touted as a feature was actually a bug.  It was impossible to read while sitting in a chair, much less reading in a chair while kids wanted attention.  Also, I didn’t want to read this story twice all the way through, so I kept flipping back and forth between the stories.  It was cute, but annoying.

22. In the Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

I started this book yesterday after coming home from piano lessons with the kids and finished it by 11pm, reading pretty much continuously, except for dinner, snuggling kids before bed, and trying to watch Eureka while finishing it.  It was really, really good.  So good, in fact, that I’ve already been to the author’s website to see when the next one comes out – and it turns out there are two more books, already out!  Must find them.  I really don’t like zombie stories, but these are so good.

Books, 2012, one more

17.  Rude Mechanicals by Kage Baker

Yes, I’m on a Kage Baker kick again.  Somehow there’s always more of them, which is amazing and wonderful and sad because one day there won’t be more that I haven’t seen yet.  This one was one of the delightful shorter length books focusing on Joseph and Lewis.  I love them!  🙂

I’ll just go ahead an list it now, to put the lie to the title of this post.

18. Mother Aegypt by Kage Baker

I’m starting it as soon as I stop typing this.  🙂

Books 2012, continued

12. Reread The Hunger Games in time to see the movie.

13. Finally read Goliath by Scott Westerfeld, after putting it off forever because I was scared I’d drop a cup of tea in it like I did to Behemoth.

14. Finally finished Wings by Aprilynne Pike, which I can’t remember where I got it in the first place.

15. Scarfed down Every You, Every Me by David Levithan & Jonathan Farmer in one evening as I really, really needed to know who the crazy person was.

16. Now reading The Women of Nell Gwynne’s by Kage Baker.  The cover really is that purple.  Love it!

Again, not dead

No, I’m not. Really, I promise. I got an iPhone, rarely go near the computer any more, and so blogging has fallen by the wayside, as I’m not entirely proficient with the thumbs-typing-on-small-keyboards thing yet (though I am trying. This for example).

So, what’ve we been up to lately? Lots of stuff, mostly kids, school, church, more doctor visits for me. Whirlwind. I will try to find time this week for details and pictures maybe tomorrow night while people are off at scouts.

I did finally sit down & read this week, a nifty little book about feeding your children called “Hungry Monkey”. It was more of a memoir than really helpful with what to do with your own kids, but it had some fun recipes (we have overlapping cookbooks with the author, so some things we’ve already tried) and things I may try with Greg that I hadn’t thought to do with him.  So add this to the book list at #11 for the year.

RA Guy’s Book Club: “How To Be Sick”

Book 4 of 2012:

In case you haven’t seen it, there’s a discussion over at

RA Guy’s Book Club on the book: “How To Be Sick” by Toni Bernhard.

How to Be Sick

Through the magic of Kindle I went from the panic of ACK!  I need to go to the bookstore!  to  AHHHH…. book in hand.  I do so love my Kindle.  I’ve read the first couple chapters already, keep tissues close by if you are easily emotional, as I am lately.  I’ve gone over and answered the discussion questions already as well, but you’ll have to go over there to read my answers.  🙂

(And I know some of you may flinch at “A Buddhist-inspired Guide” but I’ve found Buddhist inspired guides to be some of the least offensive things in the universe and usually some of the most helpful.  So I’m going with it.)