155 Big Green Pen Minutes Day Thirty: Refine

I am participating in the 31 Days of Free Writes October challenge. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.

Today’s prompt: Refine

What are we going to do about all the books?

This is a question Wayne and I have asked each other multiple times over the last week or two as we prepare to get the house ready to be listed. Although we have ideas (donate to Friends of the Library, etc.), the question sill begs itself.

What are we going to do about all the books?

My non-productive, related answer/thought is: we should have refined our approach to book acquisition long, long ago.

As we were in my son’s old room/our former “extra” room yesterday, going through books (many of which we had stored in a closet), I grew more and more disenchanted with the deluge/accumulation of books.

I really found myself thinking “maybe you shouldn’t write your own book because it will lead someone to be sitting in their extra room in fifteen years, saying “this was a nice book (hopefully) but WHAT DO I DO WITH IT NOW?”

So many books — books we had truly enjoyed, books we had felt compelled to buy but never cracked the cover of, books we had felt obligated to buy (I may have gone to quite a *few* book fairs back in the day and had many friends selling educational books), books we hoped would expand our children’s worlds.

The collection of books certainly tells the Kiger story in a way, though. Parenting books (did those work?), cookbooks, political books and, memorably, the wonderful Eugenia Price books.

This whole house/move process is leading me to wish I could retroactively refine my approach to acquiring things (not just books) and accumulate so many less material items.

Writing Challenge

13 thoughts on “155 Big Green Pen Minutes Day Thirty: Refine

  1. Pingback: 31 Days (155 Minutes) of Five Minute Free Writes - Big Green PenBig Green Pen

  2. We have two homes: the one we own and the one we rent from my parents. I’m afraid this made it easier for my partner to hold on to things, mostly things that have survived Katrina and then a house flood and that are still in boxes. I want to downsize and purge, but I have trouble focusing on my piles. Is it selfish of me to want his to start shrining first?

    • Ha! I certainly won’t tell, Pennie! I am discovering my husband and I have emotional “hang on to this or else” reactions about vastly different things. I guess it comes with the relationship territory.

  3. I went through this a few years ago when I wanted to paint some walls and book cases had to be moved! I donated to my library, to a women’s shelter some Harry Potter and YA books and I sold to a used book store. Now I buy very few books and the ones I do I try to give them to someone or to the library they go! Good luck

    • Right, Haralee. It is such a conflict for me because I love books so much — paper books, audio books, any books at all — but this affinity is killing me as we drown in debris!

  4. “Placing” our books was one of the more painful parts of our recent Rightsizing–we moved from a house in the suburbs to an apartment in the city. My greatest hope when I gave a charity a lot of my books was that the books would find their way to libraries in third world countries where english-language reading materials are scarce. I ended up keeping fiction books that I wanted to share with my grandchildren and books that I use as source material for my blog. My husband kept those that focused on three periods of history in which he takes a great interest. But a lot of books had to go and I miss some of them. I am within walking distance of a library so i can usually find the oldies.

  5. I’m a self professed professional book buyer wannabe book reader so I can totally relate. Can’t wait to refine my process for book aquistion!

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