To keep or not to keep a book?

Email to Halesworth Library Book Club

As you know, I personally would like us to continue albeit on Zoom. But if course it is up to you all. I’m not here tonight to zoom, but Maggie has kindly said she would chair. Yay, back the old days, (it was Maggie who inspired us to begin a book club)

I have not read The Fires of Autumn by Irène Némirovsky, despite hand delivery by Chris to the wood, along with the Donkey.

The reason being that the last month has been FULL of BOOKS. Michael and I have been going through his and Tamsyn’s life time collection of books, and choosing which go and which stay. It’s been quite a mountain. Imagine my pleasure of finding myself living in a house with books, many of which are familiar old friends, some unknown and tantalising. Deciding which to keep and which to pass on has been difficult for both Michael and I.

It brings the future into play, the small bit of time left, time enough to read. A book again or a book on the list of wanting to read, and is it still? Remembrance of Things Past, once on that list has now gone. Will I ever read Origin of Species in it’s original, in this beautiful leather bound book, well thumbed, but which I now need a magnifying glass as well as glasses to read?
It brings the past in, I read Midnights Children climbing Hakidun, fit, in Himalayan clear air, so when I look at just the title of this book, I am back there then. I wonder if i’d like it to read here in Halesworth again?
It brings present in, do i have the shelf space? Shall I read this now. Imagine how many books I’ve done this with over the past month but more keep creeping in. The pile to keep equals the box to go.

We have found some very sweet homes for our 60 boxes (Oxfam Woodbridge having only taken 10). A box of philosophy were transported to London for Anna, a fellow Socratic Dialogue facilitator, young and quick to learn and read. Five boxes of garden books were put in the boot of a Halesworth in Bloomer, who once lockdown lifted, will distribute amongst the HIBers, with pleasure. 6 boxes of Art books were delivered to the Cut one dark night, where Kasia lifted them all up to the art room, thanked us and said we could visit them any time. A retired book seller from Holton came and found one box of books from 5 loitering in the dining room.
Finally with a random post on Facebook, picked up by the vigilant Sonia, and seen by the networker action girl Jo, we met Lisa Hurcum, who with her husband is kicking the trend and opening up a book shop in Lowestoft. They welcomed our van load of boxed books, enjoined their young tenants to help unload, and so it was the van got emptied on a fine day in November.

Here’s what Zen say:

We hold onto books we’ve already read, as trophies of our reading accomplishments. We hold onto books we might read in the future (but probably won’t), with the optimism that our future selves are going to be more amazing readers than we’ve ever been in the past. In truth, you only need three or four books — the ones you might read in the next month. Then after you’ve read those, donate those books to charity, and check out a few books from the library.

Which brings us back to the Library. How I miss it, the conversations, the collection, the meeting there all of us around a table with a bottle of wine, and some blue cheese, and Philips cake made by Catherine, leaving with head full of ideas and books to read.

Enjoy the Zoom

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