Monday, November 18, 2013

unharvested




It's been a beautiful autumn, brisk and crisp, leaves from green to gold, scarlet, orange, bronze, glowing yellow. The windows are open and I'm taking long walks and trying to savor, store it up for bleaker days.  I've discovered pink lady apples, (they've edged out honeycrisps as my favorite) and beautiful sunsets from my studio windows: fat pink clouds and streaks of gold over the old mill town of Lowell.





I've been culling my books, pruning, paring, streamlining, saving only the ones who touch my heart.

The rest go to More Than Words  a used books store that trains teens in foster care: "Empowering youth to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business."

You know when you go into someone's house and look at their books, you get to know them? Here are most of my surviving A, B, and start of the C (by author) novels, those that aren't scattered elsewhere or in the country. It's scary how few there are, but it feels good too, that I've passed along the ones I'm pretty sure I won't read again, stripped down to the necessities.

"May something always go unharvested!
 May much stay out of our stated plan,
 Apples or something forgotten and left,
 So smelling their sweetness would be no theft."

from Unharvested, by Robert Frost

27 comments:

  1. Hello Jen, Thanks for this glimpse at your bookshelves. I think that on the whole, you prefer more recent books than I do, although there is a considerable overlap of interests.

    I don't think that I could drastically pare down my books this way. I am always referring back to ones I read before, and in fact I find myself repurchasing books that I had read in the U.S. and now miss in Taiwan.
    --Jim

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    1. I've taken a fair amount of classics, children's books and books I think guests would like to the country house, so I guess this isn't a fully accurate representation.

      There have been several times that I re-bought a book I gave away! The paring is hard--I've gone through layers of it -- I don't really have to, but it feels right.

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  2. Beautiful collection of books. Your cats are pretty :)
    Greetings !

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  3. I used to have such a hard time getting rid of any of my books, but like the rest of the stuff in my house, slowly but surely most got donated. I do have my favorite few but instead of purchasing more, I now prefer to hang out at the library. Our neighborhood library still uses a card catalogue, I think I like to go just for that! :) Your collection looks interesting...although I can't say I've read any of them.....perhaps you'll do a book review sometime?

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    1. I love libraries too! From time to time I write about books I'm reading here. If you click on the little green "books" (tag) at the bottom of the post it will lead you to them.

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  4. I keep paring my books down too Jen but there are some I would never part with! Some I read once then know I will never read them again and they go to the charity shop.

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    1. Exactly. Some just have special meaning.

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  5. Wow, you alphabetize your books! I would love it there.

    I try to keep my collection on the book shelves, they are one wall in the dining room, 3 deep on several shelves. Then of course there are piles on every table/ bench in the living room and hallway. Current reads are in the bedroom. Oh, and then the attic....

    need to pare down.

    Your kitten has grown up.

    xo jane

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    1. She grew up way too fast! But she still loves to play.

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  6. I love reading about your relationship with books.

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  7. this is a great selection of books. I've been visiting lots of second-hand book shops here. many of them have the option of renting books for a small fee. brilliant idea. it works on honor basis, though. people simply trust that you bring the books back. not sure that would work in many places...

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    1. I love that idea. What languages are you finding books in?

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  8. Autumn seems to be on its way out here, all the leaves are gone already :/ your cat is adorable btw!

    http://lasaloperie.blogspot.com

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  9. I've had a little clear out of books recently too, but in so doing I ended up rediscovering a few and will now re-read. I still have to tackle the pile under the bed, in the shed and behind my bedroom screen though! :)

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    1. I have so many piles of books too--for me they are the best accessory!

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  10. I love streamlining my books. If I'm not going to read them again, I pass them on too. It is so much fun looking at your book shelf. The books we love are a kind of portrait of us. As soon as I saw your pictures, I was so excited to see what titles you had. Beautiful!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it. I'll probably do some more.

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  11. I do the same thing with my magazines...
    Actually tear out the recipe/decorating idea/paint color etc...and donate the rest of the magazine...or recycle...this way, I actually KEEP the piece that I was interested in...instead of a big pile of magazines!
    They are in folders....ready to access...
    Enjoy your week♥
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. That is such a great idea. I have a big stack of old magazines--am going to try it!

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  12. It is a pain in the neck for me as well how to deal with books or magazines already read. I am not an avid book lover,still they are easily piled up. I usually buy small-format paperbacks if available; affordable and less space. However, I am beginning to think it's about time to make everything simpler and trying to dispose of them or seemingly unnecessary belongings in my house little by little. Some go to donation and some to recycling...

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  13. I enjoyed looking at your bookshelf, I see some similarities. I love Andrea Barrett and just got her new one "Archangel", haven't started it yet. It's on the pile. I used to alphabetize my books by author too then I found that if Ineeded to add a new one in the middle I had to shift shift shift so now I just stack them in the area, they don't fit in the shelves anymore anyway. I love pink lady apples, and they're so cute too.

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