Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Books are Sacred

(Photo credit: Vaultboy on Flickr)

Somewhere along the way, books became sacred. I don't just mean Bibles and other truly sacred texts, either. There are some really interesting books about...well, books and the history of written language. I find that kind of thing fascinating!

I moved houses recently, and it made me look at the books I own. I'm not a big book-buyer or book-owner. The books I do own are mostly gifts, cook books, and a very few (maybe 10?) titles I bought at used book sales and the Borders close-out sale and haven't read yet.

As a child, a teen, and even a young adult, I loved books and couldn't stand the thought of parting with them. They would have been the first items to get moved to the new house.

Now that I'm older, maybe it's that the library business has made me look at books in a different way. They aren't as sacred to me because I'm surrounded by them all day every day. I'm more into the idea of "open source," and sharing where books are concerned. I am happy to take my turn with a books I want and then pass it back for the good of the community.

Owning a book that sits on a shelf just seems wasteful. I never read a book twice. Ever. I can't think of a book that I've read more than once. There are so many books in the world, and I take too long to get through each one that I choose, that re-reading a book seems like a waste of time. I envy people who do, though. I'm sure a second reading would give so much more meaning and depth to a book.

The moral of the story is that when I moved recently, books were among the first things sorted into "keep" or "weed" piles. The "weed" pile got donated back to the library. The "keep" pile will find their way into my new house. I weeded a lot, actually...but I know that if I ever want to read them, they're probably available at a library somewhere.

(As an aside, I don't own an eReader, but that would have pretty much solved my problem of which books to move, wouldn't it?)


  1. I agree! I hardly need to own any books. There are a few that I like to re-read every so often, so those I do own, and a few signed copies that I got when I had the chance to meet and spend time with the author. But that's it. We've actually been going through our CD collection at home and donating much of it to the library. I look at those even less often than the books!

  2. Oh, for sure on the CDs. We moved WAAAY too many CDs. We both still have CD players in our cars, but we have CDs that haven't seen the light of day in years.