1 EAGLETON NOTES: Books: Keeping and Disposing

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Sunday, 20 August 2017

Books: Keeping and Disposing

When CJ was staying we had a concerted clearout of my loft. I had already disposed of hundreds of vinyl LPs to the Oxfam Music Shop in Glasgow and now I had seven large (I have a trolley!) boxes of books for the Oxfam Book Shop in Glasgow's Byers Road as well. It's the University area so Oxfam and the charity shops have a big presence.  The local charity shops here are inundated with books and many of the books I was disposing of were not really local charity shop material anyway being, perhaps, more specialised or in the case of the complete works of Somerset Maugham (I had two sets) rather more likely to fetch a reasonable price for charity in a specialist bookshop.

The result is that my loft which has about 10 metres of bookshelf space which are now full as are the bookshelves in the living room. But the rest of the loft has no books all over the place impeding passage and impossible to find when needed.

A few of the ones I have kept are:




24 comments:

  1. The disposing of books always puts me in a bit of a dilemma. For there are a few written by relatives which I feel duty bound to keep, even though I have stopped reading them. Other books which have shaped my mind/thoughts so mean much to me. The last time that we did a big clear out - found me buying back a few.
    So good luck to you Graham :-)

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    1. I still have a great many Heron and most I've either read or may never read or re-read but whilst I can keep them I shall keep them. I've made a rule that there will be no books for which there is no shelf-space (that doesn't include Kindle of course). I shall attempt to keep to it.

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  2. Oh goody!, get to see more of your book shelves. I agree with Heron's View ... I've frequently bought back books I previously, in a moment of madness, discarded.

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    1. Jill, I, too, can see more of my bookshelves! I don't think I've ever bought back one I've disposed of but there's always a first time!

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  3. Congratulations on sorting out books to donate!
    This week is my last, hoping so, culling books to donate. Close eyes and hold my nose it will be mostly.

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    1. Maywyn I've done it so many times I'm not sure how it is I have any books left but I do - lots!

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  4. Terrible dilemma; not unlike throwing out paintings!

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    1. Don't even go there Cro. I have so many (not in your league of course - that I don't have the wall space to appreciate them. I used to swap them around but so many have now found 'their' home that I have dozens (mostly smaller ones) that I'm looking at at the moment and trying to decide how to rotate them. I only have ones that I really love or that mean something to me (usually because I like them and they were painted by family or friends). None by me I have, regretfully, to say.

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  5. I don't understand the titles so I suspect the content would be way beyond me.

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    1. Adrian, whatever you are daft laddie you ain't.

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  6. It's nice to see you have nearly everything that Joseph Conrad wrote. In my view, he was a superb writer. I must get round to reading "Nostromo" once again. When I first read it I was blown away and very nearly chose it as the basis of my final year dissertation at The University of Stirling.

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    1. YP I'm a great Conrad fan and have read most of his published work at some time or other: many twice.

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  7. You bought all the good books. I've read some of them but wish I could read more.

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    1. Red we always wish we could read more.

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  8. Like Heron and Jill, I too have occasionally bought back my own books. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the process without the ultimate responsibility.

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    1. And, CJ, of invaluable help you were as always.

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  9. I never read a book twice so I could give any and all away but I prefer to keep them, just in case. I haven't found a way to find an appreciative owner for my old books, people want the books but are not prepared to pick up or pay postage and i don't think I have anything worthy of re-sale to a shop.

    You have a very extensive collection, even in it's reduced state

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    1. Kylie, if I really enjoy a book or a series, then I often read it two or even three times. Even in it's reduced state I have about 25 metres of book shelf in total. I hope that I never have to move.

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  10. Some of the books I can see on your photos I know by their cover, but have not read a single one of them, I'm afraid.
    Anyway, congratuilations on having finished a difficult and probably rather lengthy job!
    As some others here have said, sorting through one's books is something of a dilemma. I downsized considerably 14 years ago, before Steve and I moved into this flat, and then once more when he redecorated our rooms. Now I only have books on my shelves that really mean something to me, either because they "made" my childhood or because they were given to me by special friends (or family), or because they deal with a topic close to my heart. And every year, some way or other, another small pile finds its way into my flat... even though I could easily have most of them on my kindle.

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    1. I think, Meike, that deep down I just want them to be there. In theory I have your tidy mind and desire for lack of clutter and 'things' but in reality I don't have that commitment to follow through on my convictions.

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  11. Congratulations on the clear out, Graham. Every time I contemplate doing the same, my heart fails me. I was going to do what I called BOGROT (buy one, get rid of two), but somehow that never happened...

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    1. Frances I shall still acquire books even though I could get most on the Kindle these days. I certainly don't anticipate getting rid of any more in the near future.

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  12. Oh, it's a tough job, getting rid of books... I have had clear-outs through now and then throughout the years, out of necessity (lack of space), but it's always difficult. In my last one, I got rid of quite a few English paperback classics, which I could replace by free Kindle downloads. But I still find it difficult getting rid even of old paperbacks if they are ones that I kind of have a "physical memory" of - like having read them several times, and maybe made notes or marked certain paragraphs etc. Have you read all those by Conrad? One of the Penguin paperbacks still in my bookcase is Lord Jim which I read at university (English literature) and wrote a (minor) essay on. I remember struggling with it at first but growing to like it... I probably still have the essay somewhere as well!

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    1. Monica on the whole (except for wall-space for pictures) space isn't my problem. I could put many more metres of shelves in the loft if I wanted too. However I'm trying to be sensible. After all my son will, eventually, have to dispose of them when I can't climb the stairs to the loft (for whatever reason) or when I pop my clogs. I have read all the Conrad - many twice. I didn't do any literature academically once I left school.

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