Write on- Clearing the books



Black and white photograph of the author's desk-susan sheldon nolenIt’s summer and I have a hard time writing when the sun is out. I live in a climate where the sun doesn’t put on his hat too often. So on those days my mind wanders to other things, like getting the house painted whilst doors and windows can be let open for fresh air. But something as simple as that is never easy for a writer. I have books and Books and Books. It was time for a dreaded clear out.


It’s hard to clear out books. Some have changed the way I think, some have angered me, and some have made me laugh. Which to cull? Each book has a life.


c. 50

c. 50 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I give my books to charities as I have already taken everything out of them I can use, joy, pleasure, knowledge, and it’s time to pass them on to someone else.


But which ones? Some were books that the print was so tiny even a sixteen year old with perfect eyes would squint. Some the pages were so yellow I knew I had to pass them on whilst there was still a chance someone else could read them. Others…it was hard. Very hard. I love this story but will I read it again? I’ve re read the book four times already. I can tell you how the first sentence goes..those books are a part of me. I don’t need the physical to remind me of that.


A job that would take someone else maybe four hours, took me three days, as some of the books begged to be opened and just for a second..take a break…take a break…and read. I had to force myself to stop. Focus on the task on hand.


When I got done, I had a satisfying three shopping carrier bags full of books. Three whole bags! Course when a friend came over and saw the small pile of books leaving the house from thousands, there was a friendly chuckle and shake of the head.


I didn’t dare tell them about the books in the bathroom. Some thirty-five in there.  I allowed ten to leave and the rest stay. Why…well why not? There are shelves in there after all.






About susan sheldon nolen

It’s rare to catch me without coffee, a form of camera, or my beloved wire fox terriers. I love the history, the art, and it’s a massive part of my life, as I either paint, write, or get interrupted by my dogs, reminding me of the real world. I hope you enjoy your time here. It’s such a privilege to have readers.
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5 Responses to Write on- Clearing the books

  1. Pat says:

    What goes with books but bookcases. I’ve developed the habit of painting them to a theme: there’s the Gimlet and Nigel (two wire fox terriers) Bookcase for my Bloomsbury Corner, the Squirrel Bookcase for the art books, and now the Thurber Bookcase for both my FDR and Thurber collections (somehow, I thought FDR and Thurber would get along well). I love bookcases, especially older, solid wooden ones. The put-togethers with the cardboard backs and the compressed sawdust shelving don’t do much for me or the books they hold. They’re untrustworthy and just not worthy of a collection of well-loved books.

    • What a brilliant idea! I so love old bookcases. I have one from the British Consulate. I keep hoping to find a wonderful letter stuck somewhere in the wood, but no luck yet! Thanks for stopping by and visiting!

  2. Morgan says:

    Thank you so much for your posts. I enjoy reading them so much. Always inspiring or insightful and beautiful artwork. I am so pleased to be following you 

  3. HAHA! Indeed! “Reshelving day”, in mine and my favorite pony, Twilight Sparkle’s, immortal words. I love my books, no matter how old and yellow. But yes, eventually, they HAVE to go to someone else who can get as much enjoyment out of them, if not more. I myself live in an area where its only really “warm” and “Summer” for a few months out of the year. So when I need to be writing but the sun is beckoning me to come out, i find it really really hard to keep focused. Total truth!

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