Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day

One of the excellent traditions of my life is the late afternoon Mother's Day nap that I am required to take while the rest of the family run about cooking dinner for me. I am one well-cared for mother. So there I was, reclining in state, regarding my huge, overstuffed bookshelf. The Man built me this matching pair of six foot high bookshelves many years ago to rescue my precious book collection from its precarious plank and brick existence. Now, I have already decluttered this bookshelf but as I have discovered, getting rid of things is addictive, and there is nothing quite like the high of seeing bags of former possessions leave the house. I could see the books quivering in their little metaphorical shoes as they wondered who was going to survive elimination. So I abandoned napping and ruthlessly pruned four more bags of books out of my life.


What went:


Self Delusional Books: When exactly do I imagine I am going to Teach Myself Latin?


Books Only Relevant in a Past Life: I loved studying Anglo-Saxon poetry. Twenty years ago. I must face the fact that if I want to read Anglo-Saxon poetry in the future I am going to have to invest in an English translation. Also I will likely never reread Greek plays or the lesser known poetry of Chaucer.


Classics in Horrible Cheap Editions: When I am rich I will join The Folio Society and fill my bookshelf with beautiful classic editions. Until then I will go to the library.


Books I Inherited From My Grandmother That I will Never Read: My Granny would be the first to tell me to get rid of them. The remaining few that I love and treasure will preserve her memory as much as the twenty I will never look at.


What stayed:


'How To' Books Which Are Moderately Less Self Delusional: I am going to learn to make cheese. One day. Really.


Comfort Reading: The books I turn to when I am tired, overwhelmed, in need of something completely undemanding that I have read before a hundred times. Agatha Christie, Georgette Heyer.


Books That Make Me Happy: Poetry. Anything with pictures of wonderful gardens.


Books That Make Me a Better Person: Anything by Elizabeth Goudge.


Books I Inherited From My Grandmother That I Also Like


Books That Belong to The Man: Spouse etiquette demands not decluttering the precious clutter of The Other.


So Mother's Day. All good. Possessions pruned, dinner on the table. And space on the bookshelf....

3 comments:

our house on the hill said...

Love the way you write, and put all your books in sections! I wish i had more of my favourite books over here...but did order the complete works of Oscar Wilde for Sam, and Little house on the Prairie books for stella and me!!
It is such a good feeling to unclutter, but at the same time so lovely when you can find a little treasure to add to your house!

GretchenJoanna said...

Ha! I did a similar thing on the morning of Mother's Day, and cleaned out my clothes closet a bit even before I went to church, throwing out quite a few items. Whew! What a rejuvenatory activity... most decluttering is as good as a nap.
A while back I also got rid of a whole boxful of Latin books. I am accepting of the reality now that I am not disciplined enough to teach myself a language, even if it were at the top of my want-to-do list, which it isn't.

Jo said...

Hey girls, I think one of the best things I have learned while decluttering is that so much of our stuff is about the person we wish we were, or that other people think we are. Decluttering helps us find our true self, and really treasure our few favourite things.

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