December 29, 2009

"Books You Can Live Without"

Here is a fun article from the New York Times that I identify with a lot these days. Because I'm kind of in between homes at the moment (my home home and the apartment I'm staying for who knows how long), and probably will be for the next few years, my book collection is constantly divided. Inevitably, whenever I'm in one place I miss the books in the other. So, I find myself identifying most with the comments of author Joshua Ferris, especially what he says here:
Books are notes from the field, bound and domesticated, life brought into narrow focus. Get rid of a book? No way. Every one is a brick keeping the building standing. Books are my life. I leave and come back, and the books I find there tell me I’m home.

Get rid of my books? Me? Never.


  1. really good article! I also identify with it 100%. Especially when I'm in London and thousands of miles from my books. I MISS THEM.

  2. Lianne! I met Joshua Ferris! He was one of the authors who came to speak to us when I was in the Catskills. A very nice, funny guy (as well as a great writer) who even curiously (but politely) inquired about my lack of a sense of smell during dinner.

    I agree with him all the way. The first thing I did whenever I came home from school for a visit was hole up in my room and spend time with my books. Great article. Thanks for posting.

  3. This is a timely read for me, as I prepare to retire and leave a career in education. For 27 years I was a classroom teacher - grades K through 10 - and accumulated a mountain for books I read to and with my students.

    Ten years ago I moved to an administrative position where I have been responsible for our English-Language Arts, History, and Library/Media programs. As you might imagine, many, many books have come my way in this position, too.

    My office library has literally hundreds - maybe thousands - of books. They cannot possibly all come home with me. I've been agonizing over which to keep, which to give away, and which to simply discard. I'm going to hang on to this article for direction as I move forward.

    Thanks, Lianne, for a timely post!