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Book it

After I finally shoehorned the book collection back into the bookshelves, I did the thing I always do - try to cull the herd. It sounds like a good idea, but it never works out. First I decide that I can't get rid of the butt ugly books I got at a library sale for $.50 because I haven't read them yet. Then I decide that I can't get rid of some books that I have read and don't like because I like other books by the same author and obviously I can't separate them. I can't make myself get rid of the books I've already read and did like because I might want to read them again. And last of all, I feel like I need to keep them around for Evelyn when she gets older (which probably guarantees that she will be completely uninterested in them).

But I have implemented new rules for myself. I am going to try and read one unread book in the collection every month starting with the ones I think I will want to pitch afterward. I am not going to buy any new books unless the book in question is one I will revisit often - i.e. something of the instructable nature. Now that I am a block away from the main library, I do my book shopping there. This has already derailed my first attempt at finishing off some of the books I already own.

I just finished Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher. Loved it but for two things - too short and too many exclamation points(!). I'm pretty sure it's mostly just a transcript of her show which explains both the brevity and the punctuation. The font seems a bit large along with the spacing between sentences. It's like she (well, the publisher) was trying to turn in something for a freshman composition class. I'm surprised it wasn't also in courier font with 2 inch margins to make the book feel longer.

I also finished Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block. Having read many of her articles, I already knew she was a great writer. This book is no exception. Despite the fact that I know she is very passionate about the subject of natural childbirth, this is a very even-handed book. In the end the real "villains" (as such) seem to be hospital bureaucrats and malpractice lawyers moreso than OB/GYNs (who usually get all the blame for "medicalized" childbirth, at least on the message boards I read). She doesn't shy away from reporting what she sees while shadowing illegal lay midwives including a case where 911 is almost called too late to resuscitate a newborn. It's a wonderful book, both enlightening and infuriating. I didn't know of the cases where the law had gotten involved to force women to have repeat c-sections. All I can say is that I am glad to be living in a province where there is no animosity between midwives and OBs so that it's possible to both have a midwife and give birth in a hospital the way I want to. This is a good place for me to point out The Big Push for Midwives going on right now.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 13th, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC)
I avoid this dilemma by refusing to get rid of the books I own, regardless as to whether I've read them, as well as continuing to purchase new ones.

It works.
Aug. 13th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC)
If I owned a house (or lived in >800 sq ft of space), I'd probably continue on my merry way as well, but right now the name of the game is limiting collections of things (books, games, cameras, jackets, teapots, etc.) so that we can live here comfortably for a few more years.
Aug. 14th, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC)
I am a rabid proponent of getting things at the library. Especially because I can request them online and just pick them up the next time I work (2x weekly, so not much wait).

Soon I will try to cull the herd more - swaptree.com is actually being helpful because I can weigh the option of owning *something else I want* in return for getting rid of this book. (Swaptree is only USA right now, though, boo).

Though I still have trouble getting rid of books I actively dislike if I have several by the same author (I hate Palahniuk's "Lullaby").

Some of the librarians and I had a long conversation about how their generation (the one before us) refuses to get rid of ANY books, almost viewing it as a sin. (I had noticed that the old guy at Barnes & Noble was appalled when I said I had cleared a bookshelf).

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )