I am clearing out my books! Why you ask? Well, it’s part of my decluttering my home, my heart and my mind. Also, I have too many and I’ve realized I need to part with a few. But it hasn’t been easy.
Culling through my books this weekend was nostalgic, sad, happy and new. It was the first time that the frog princess saw the mass of books all in one place. The best part about it? As I was going through a pile she walks up to me in her diaper, reaches for a picture book, turns around and slowly backs onto my lap! If I didn’t know any better, I’d say she knows the proper position you should take when in the presence of books.
I started reading to her, probably in my 6th month of pregnancy. I would get ready for bed and as I read, she would summersault and twist inside of me. The one word I could think to describe it? Magic! I adore books. I fell in love with them as a child. It was the one thing that I could always ask for. I remember bringing home my Scholastic Book Clubs flyer and being able to order books. Mami used to also take me to the library on 145th between Broadway and Amsterdam. I loved that place. Although my parents did not have a higher education and I rarely saw them with a book (possibly because so much was going on), they had a love of books and an understanding about where those books could take me (both figuratively and literally). I am sad for people who do not understand this very basic thought.
At 4 months, the frog princess was turning pages. It didn’t hurt that I worked at Scholastic Book Fairs as a buyer at one point. My fellow book lovers made sure that, by the time she was born, her bookcase was filled. At 20 months, books are part of her play. There are books everywhere and it brings me unending joy to see her handling the books even when she is standing on them.
It has been a process deciding to get rid of a good portion of my books (check out the list here and email me if you’re interested, I’m willing to ship them to you. I’m thinking $3 for paperbacks and $5 for hardcovers). But I think it’s necessary. Although I have a deep love for them, I know that they are meant to be cracked open and read. Most of these I’ve read in advanced reader copies and so, the hardcover books sit on my shelf in beautiful condition. That’s not to say I am not keeping some. I think I will still be able to fill up 3-4 bookcases. But, I might clear out some more. To make room for new ones and to remind my baby girl that, although books are very important in our lives, they are still just things. And besides, the memory of the books that we read, live on inside of us as long as our imagination allows.
What was the last great book you read? The one that you wanted to tell everyone about? The one that still makes you smile? For me, I’d have to say it’s How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? which I read to the frog princess on the dining room floor with about 500 books surrounding us.