Parting with old friends…


I’ve been a hoarder of books all my life, each year giving away a few to make space for new ones. Then I converted to ebooks, and realized that I would never read most of that small print again. So this year I gave most to the library, some to the recycling center, and a few to the trash. The photo shows the bulk of what’s left:

  1. Four volumes of poetry (an anthology plus collections of Walt Whitman, Robert Frost (not shown), and T.S. Eliot.
  2. Armageddon (WW II history) and The Odyssey, which I hope to finish someday.
  3. The Complete Works of Shakespeare (the last of my college texts)–the one volume I’ll need if I’m ever stranded on a deserted island.
  4. The Shipping News, a novel I’ve read three times and may read again. (I’d say the same about The Great Gatsby, but though I’ve read it three times I’ve never owned a copy).
  5. One of the Foxfire volumes, a series dedicated to mountain heritage and crafts. I’m glad I don’t own all of them, because I’d have to keep them too.
  6. And finally, Tumult on the Mountain, by Roy B. Clarkson, which details lumbering in West Virginia from 1770 to 1920. This is the book that inspired the setting of the first book in my historical series, The Girl on the Mountain. 

Tumult on the Mountain was first published in 1964 by McClain Printing of Parsons, West Virginia. The book is still in print, with a current book rank on Amazon of 517,123. This rank may not seem high, but if it’s true that Amazon has close to 2,000,000 books, it’s very respectable. It means people are still reading it. Maybe they’re also keeping it, like me.

More than anything else, I value the more than 250 pages of photos in this book, though one Amazon reviewer gave the book only one star, saying it was boring and had only 97 pages of text. It does contain many definitions and lists of statistics, useful to some, I’m sure. Most readers know the book is a treasure of our history. leadmine.tree

So though I’ve parted with many old book friends, I’ll be keeping these. How about you–are any of my keepers your favorites too?


6 thoughts on “Parting with old friends…”

  1. I gave up paper about 2 years ago and almost never buy it now. Cooking books make sense. I love how you know WHY you’re keeping the books you’re keeping. I’m mainly keeping signed books.

  2. I remember starting The Shipping News and wasn’t too sure about it, but once you explained the basic story I had trouble putting it down. I loved the movie. I’m sure those empty shelves look strange!

  3. I will never stop reading the real thing even though my Kindle is loaded. I went through a purge recently, too. It was hard but decided that those books I was keeping for reference (who knows when I might have to quote Shakespeare?) could go. The Internet will help me there. But there were those that touched me deeply and those remain on my bookshelves. I hope those I took to Goodwill will go into the hands of those who will be touched by their words.

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