Monday, February 6, 2017


By Mary Kennedy 
In a probably ill-fated effort to declutter, I decided to pack up some books for the AAUW annual book sale. The AAUW is a worthy cause and promotes scholarships for women.  Donating a few boxes of books seems like an easy way to contribute. Or does it?
I've suddenly become attached to books I haven't glanced at in years. I don't recall when (or why) I bought them, and they've gathered dust over the years. So why the sudden sentimentality?
Some (like the cookbooks above) are vintage (or they seem to be.). I decide to take them out of the box--I have a friend who collects old cookbooks and I bet she'd like these. 
Some are reference books. I hate to part with these, but I already have three Spanish dictionaries. I decide to give away two of them, but in the meantime, I find a French phrase book that has slipped into the box.
I just can't part with it. The next time I'm at my favorite Paris cafe, I might want to order a chocolate croissant and I can't remember if you say, "crossiant au chocolat,"  or"crossiant de chocolat." So I flip through my trusty French phrase book to check. Okay, problem solved.  It's "crossiant au chocolat." Whew! That was a close one. I decide I better keep the French phrase book after all. You never know!
Some language books don't make the cut and I decide to donate them. Was I really planning to learn to "read and write" Chinese characters? I don't even remember buying this. No worries, someone else will enjoy it. 
Some books are classics, the kind you want to read again. But I can always get these on the Kindle so "Anna" goes into the box for AAUW.
After a solid forty-five minutes, I haven't made as much progress as I'd hoped.  I find myself fascinated by map books. I hesitate. I can find maps online, right? And do I really need a topographical map of Argentina? I decide to donate the map books.
Well, the "donate" box is only 1/3 full and I'm wasting too much time dilly-dallying  over each book. How about you? Do you find it hard to part with a book? Even when you know you can find it on the Kindle? Or am I just a secret hoarder? Please chime in with your thoughts.
By Mary Kennedy

No comments: