We are plugging away at the stuff. Having undertaken the family archives and sent some documents on their way to historical institutions, universities and libraries, we are more and more confronting the books. What to do with these companions that we have read, savored and held onto over the years?
Well, for my part, much of the problem was hoarding. I’ve read about it and experienced it first hand in others. I just can’t seem to let go of something that gave pleasure. Another part of the problem is that I fool myself that I will return to read them once again. Well, I am at that point of life when there is not sufficient time to re-read all of them and still read the other books on my life list. I think I’m finally growing up here.
We are becoming more critical, more discerning regarding those tomes that we want to retain and will actually read or reference again. We have agreed that the paperback Shakespeare plays can go. We can borrow them from the library should need arise or Google particular questions that we might have. We will keep our hardback copies of the ancient classics. They speak to us still.
Then there are the books that have been formative in our thinking. Those we will keep for sure. What are some of them, you might ask? Well, here’s a sample.
The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt
1491 by Charles C. Mann
Machiavelli, A Portrait by Christopher S. Celenza
Ornament of the World by Maria Rosa Menocal
Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick
Lincoln at Gettysburg by Garry Wills
Growing Up by Russell Baker
Dante by Barbara Reynolds
Someone quotable once opined that you can tell much about a man [person] by the books he/she keeps. Draw your own conclusions.
So, (a word that linguists and folks of their ilk voted to retire a year ago) what are we left with (oops, a dangling preposition?) Right, and now where does the question mark go? Yikes!
We’ll tell you more shortly.