As promised in About this Blog, I’m hoping to release into the literary wild one old book for every new book that enters my house. At some point, I might even donate two or four or more for every new book. However, I have tried this method before of pruning my jungle without much success.
The New York Times recently asked six authors and one bookseller on what books to cull and what to keep. I rather wish I could be as realistic as Jane Smiley, but my sentiments are with Joshua Ferris: “Home is Where Your Books Are.” And even after Chang-rae Lee offers his criteria for all the books he wants to throw away, he says, “But I know I won’t.”
Oh, dear. I’m counting on all BBFs (best book friends) who read this blog to help me by holding me accountable. If I go too long without posting a “Going, going, gone,” demand to see my latest annotated list of books I can live without.
This week I part with three, all old, gently used mass-market paperbacks.
The Five Bells and Bladebone by Martha Grimes, the ninth entry in her witty Richard Jury crime series titled after English pubs. This is actually one of my favorites, where a corpse falls out of a rosewood secretary, and antiques dealer Marshall Trueblood proclaims: “I bought the desk, not the body; send it back.” I’m keeping my hardcover copy.
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, by Anne Tyler, the masterful and poignant story of the Tull family of Baltimore. Again, I have a hardcover.
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour an Introduction, by J.D. Salinger, which was Salinger’s last published book about the Glass family. I’ve had this copy since college, and after skimming it this past week, I have no plans to read it again, so out it goes. I do like the last line: “Just go to bed, now. Quickly. Quickly and slowly.”