Guest post – Sally Spooner

Dear booksellers,
Pity the poor book loving non-book seller. The only way I can have Thanksgiving is to discard books. Lots of them. You know how the dominos go. The only way I can have overnight guests is to pick up the boxes of photo disks scattered around the spare room. The only way to do that is to clean off some shelves. The only way to clean off the shelves is to move books off the shelves, but to where? Books are already under the beds. A book sale is the best choice, probably, which isn’t as bad as throwing them out. The Friends Meeting House book sale in Westport accepts books all year round. But still, it’s hard. First are the standards for discarding. Do I keep books that belonged to my late family members as children 60, 70, 100 years ago? The one’s with their names inside the covers in childish writing? The answer is usually yes, even the ragged dog eared ones. Or the various books I have saved because I wanted them to avoid the embarrassment of being unwanted, like the classic Nancy Drew books I watched go from $5.00 to $.25 without being picked up? Or the ones signed by their unknown authors and inscribed to various people who then discarded them? Then there’s the distraction element. You can’t get rid of a book without first reading a few paragraphs. If it’s a book of short stories, then you might have to scan several of them. Then you have to wonder why you ever picked some books up to begin with. Take “Growing Nuts in the North.” Why do I have this book? It’s not likely I will ever start growing nuts. Going nuts, maybe. You get to the point where you throw up your hands and write an e-mail. So far about 20 books are firmly in the discard box. Back to work. More boxes to fill. I can already smell the turkey.

Sally Spooner
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