Literary lockdown. How do you throw books away?


Arriving back home to my house in Spain, I have taken on the task of having a BIG sort out. It needed doing, let’s face it, if your stuff has been stored in boxes in the shed for over a year DO YOU NEED IT?

This has also prompted me to give my book case a serious sort. There are many books I have acquired, never read but sit there waiting for me to get the time to pick one and sit un-disturbed for about four hours. Yeah, I am one of those people that cannot put a book down until I finish it. The four hour window I promised myself never happens, so I find myself, once again faced with the decision, – Where do I put unwanted books?

Do you find it impossible to throw books away? Charity shops do not want them and it goes against my up-bringing to throw them away.

Yet there on my line of book cases, sits the work of many authors who tirelessly clicked on keyboards into the early hours creating stories they felt needed telling. Not only stories but history books to educate you, art books to inspire you and poetry where feelings poured on to pages to release emotional traumas about lost loves and despair. I picture the poet crying on to his pages as I think about where to put this book of his creative words.

I have written many times about the throwaway society we have created, I write coldly about our need or not so needed plastics and toxins we splurge over needless items we have turned into must haves. Books find themselves competing with audio versions not to mention the amount of books on the market as we all say there is a book in us somewhere and with the help of Amazon we can easily create it.

Once upon a time, getting your book published was almost an impossibility unlike today with the opportunities offered in self publishing. Are authors beginning to feel that their creativity is not worth so much anymore?

I look back at my shelves. I have a collection of very old editions some going back to the turn of the century. I feel for those authors as they gather dust. They are staying there I decide for no other reason than I value their presence.

My son goes through a box of video cassettes. ‘Mum I cannot get rid of these, They are part of my childhood. But we have not got a video player so they really are worthless. As an actor he wants to preserve the movies he grew up with. Is this not the same?

As a creative human being I feel at a loss to know how to preserve the value. I make a coffee and then sit with the thought, the same one I have had before.

I must get around to reading them.

We live in a world fast moving, yet we love to repeat the same stories over and over, I convince myself that my bookcase is a pile of sleeping stories that could do with some waking up So instead of throwing these creative works I am going to learn from them and share something with you every week whilst I am still in Spain. Not a boring review but maybe a little re write or even just a photo.

So here goes with the first one.

I close my eyes and pull a book off the shelf. It is a copy of Rudyard Kipling‘s A Book of Words. Opening on a random page, I am faced with a quotation.

These authors are not sleeping, they are alive as ever.

Mmmm, Kiplin what are you saying here? I preferred your cakes.

Ideas please on a postcard. Maybe I could buy a mobile library and travel at the same time. Literally.

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