It is, I fear, time for a cull – a book cull. I always feel it’s a kind of sacrilege to get rid of any reading matter, but unfortunately books seem to be taking over the house: without any effort on our part they are multiplying (rather like the Tribbles in Star Trek) and forming new communities in what were previously neutral zones. Since there is no longer room on the shelves (where volumes are double stacked in upright rows and laid flat on the top) homeless refugees have taken up residence wherever they can find a space, and normal life is no longer possible without some kind of eviction taking place.
There are books on the dining room table, dresser and chairs, the front room sofa, and under the bed (last night I even found a stray one in the bed). There are books on the freezer, in the airing cupboard and on the top of the clothes waiting to be ironed, to say nothing of the kitchen cupboard and the wardrobe.
Reference books are a minefield because I’m always convinced they might be useful, even if they are out of date or we never look at them. Children’s books can also be tricky. I’ve still got many favourites from my own childhood, alongside modern classics that my daughters loved, but neither they nor I would ever want to re-read any of the never-ending series about ghosts, ghouls and fairies that they once enjoyed so much.
And talking of series, how do you cope with sequels that fail to live up to the promise of the original book, but you continue to buy because you want to know what happens to the characters – fantasy writers seem particularly prone to this.
The next problem is finding new homes for your unwanted books. We do have second hand book shops in the area, but none seem to be acquiring new stock at the moment. I could try selling them online, but I’m not sure how successful I’d be, plus we would have boxes of books taking up space so I will probably take them to a charity shop – unless anyone has any other solutions?
And while I’m in the mood for clearing out I am trying to have something of a redesign on this blog to make it clearer and less ‘busy’, so it should be easier to read. Blogging needs restraint - I get carried away with colourful headers, backgrounds, buttons, accessories and so on, which can detract from the written word – and that, after all, should be the most important thing on the page. I’ve left the background (I think a bit of colour makes it look more interesting) but I’ve got rid of the cutesy pictures and the header because they didn’t add anything to the blog. In addition, I’ve altered the layout in an effort to make it look less cramped. However, the changes are very much a work in progress, so please feel free to make suggestions for improvement.