Monday, June 29, 2015

I've Been Here Before

          Slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community is a pleasure every week.  Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Beth and Anna! I've had a wonderful couple of weeks traveling to the All-Write Conference and then to Missouri with family to visit more family. Now I'm back, and ready for, well, here's what I guess I'm ready for!
the hall to the room



the room
         I'm determined to downsize my book collection, and plan to have a book sale sometime in July or early August, but the real dilemma is what to keep. My title says it all: I've been here before! I moved a few years ago, and left quite a lot behind for an estate sale. This too included so many books that my husband and I had collected through the years. It was a little easier for those books than this time. I stacked all the books I wanted to take in one room and left the rest to sell. 
         This time, the books I've brought home from school have all been used and read and re-read, and loved. I'm also trying to project ahead what I might want in the future. I want a shelf of books that I still want to read, new and old. I want a large part of the collection to remain poetry, for adults and children; and I want to retain my rather huge collection of picture books. The slice of my life lately is decisions, decisions. Do I keep the recent favorites simply because I thought they were wonderful and might re-read them? What if I want to use some of the books as references in my writing? How many should I save for my granddaughters? What about those I just love, and know that I will never read them again? 
          And is it silly, even trifling to spend so much thinking time about this? I say, "Just get on with it, Linda!" Then I pick up the next stack, browse and think, wonder "if", read a few pages, and try to decide. Minutes pass.
          I do admit that I have a couple of more shelves I'm also bringing home from school that I own, so that will help. And there are some that I've kept from the earlier move that I think I'll give up, which will afford more room. This will be a slice of my life for a while, and I realize that perhaps part of the challenge is saying goodbye to teaching, although I won't easily really say goodbye to books for children.  
          And, if you have any advice for me in the choosing, please, please let me know in the comments! 


Happy Reading!
         

57 comments:

  1. Oh, Linda! What gems must be hidden in those piles! And thank you for posting these pictures. My own stacks seem so much more manageable now :-) As far as suggestions go, I don't think I'll be any help, since I have such a hard time getting rid of books myself! Seriously though, have you considered selling them online through Better World Books? They donate a portion of their sales to fund literacy programs. Good luck!

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    1. Wow, I never thought about Better World Books, will check it out, Catherine. Thanks!

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  2. Oh my goodness!! I am speechless! Look at all of those beautiful books!!! I have no advice. (I'm sorry.) I don't think your struggle with this is silly at all. I totally get it!! If I had to bring all of my classroom books home, I wouldn't be able to walk through the halls. You can do it!!!! I look forward to see where these books end up!

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    1. I wish everyone here could drop in to grab, Michelle! Thank you!

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  3. I can understand your dilemma. At one time we had filled bookshelves in our basement. These were six feet long five shelves high that I built. We were able to stack books two deep and two high on each shelf. A few years ago our basement flooded and we lost many books to water damage. Not a way I recommend to thin out books. Go ok luck with your choices.

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    1. Yes, I know about the basement books too, but did deal with that when I moved. No flooding thank goodness. I'm sorry for your losses that way. Glad to know that someone else has so many! Thanks!

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  4. A dilemma that so many of us can relate to! Most of my shipping allowance last summer was devoted to books, so I am not the one for advice. I hope you will be at peace with whatever you decide.

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    1. It seems that many of us have similar problems. Thank you!

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  5. I can relate, although my books were not teaching related, just books that I enjoyed. I was brutal when I went through the books. I donated many of them and still have an overabundance. Good luck in thinning out and passing them on to others who appreciate them.

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    1. Thanks Judy, and I know you are moving, so might need to do some more thinning?

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  6. I have found the longer I "what if", the less likely I am to part with it!
    Such hard decisions in front of you. I'm sure your grandchildren would love to help you weed :) Maybe they can help with a little bit of "what a child wants"!
    You'll have to come back and write and show us photos when you're done!

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    1. You're right about the lingering "what if", Michele. I need to be quick! I'm not sure about the grand-girls. They will say yes to every picture book! Now if I can only get my daughter to take some home for them! Will certainly document!

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  7. I love those pictures! I need to show them to my husband so he gets off my back. Actually my husband built 2 built in bookshelves while I was out of town which is fabulous. Good luck getting rid of stuff. I'm a shedder, but that doesn't mean I don't regret it!

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    1. I will make the priorities and get it done, Kimberley. Your husband's shelves must have helped a lot!

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  8. You have an amazing amount of books! I have no idea how to help...but I need to pay attention to how this plays out for you, because I know I will be in the same place soon enough. All my fabulous picture books are at school...all the books I read to my boys, and so many more since then. Yikes, what will I do with them? What about your school - wouldn't they love to have their hands on these? And allow you continued access to them, when needed? Good luck! A beautiful dilemma, really. One to get lost in! ;-)

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    1. I did give quite a few away, Maureen, but my school also is filled with books, each classroom & a fine library. I was hoping to sell what I don't want very cheaply, will be sure some teachers in other schools know too. Yes, when you decide to leave the classroom, I imagine it will be the same dilemma.

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  9. Linda,
    This is a wonderful problem. I'm imagining a lending library -- a place to share, love, and talk about books.

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    1. Now if I just had a garage, with wonderful shelves on one side? Sadly, I don't anymore, Julieanne, but your idea is terrific!

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  10. Hi Linda! That is a tough question. We have eight bookcases, and we still have piles of books on the floor and on the sofa. I imagine you could ship some to a place like First Book. I've also donated some before to a hospital ER for the kids who are waiting.

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    1. The donation idea to those who might need them, especially for children is a good one, Tabatha. Thanks!

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  11. Oh my gosh! All those books! Amazing. What treasures. I had to pare down my books these last couple weeks, too, to get ready for our move. It was hard, but I have to say, I felt a little relieved. Many of the books were ones I had bought, but wouldn't even really recommend to others. Time to let those go! I kept ones that meant something or that I would loan to someone else. It's SUCH a process!

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    1. Thanks for the kinship, Holly. It is a process and I'll be sure to let everyone know what happens!

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  12. I can't imagine how difficult it is to get yourself to really work on making those decisions. I could just picture that moment of stopping to page through a book and wondering about "if." Maybe you could find a good place to give those new favorites to. A local Children's hospital might be a great place for some books that you know kids will love but you know you won't read again. Good luck with this process.

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    1. Thanks, Andrea, the idea of books for Children's Hospital, which is a wonderful place here in Denver, is terrific.

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  13. This is my life. I've started spreading them out, so my husband might not notice. It turns out, he is on to my tricks! ;) I have no advice. It would be like the blind leading the blind.

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    1. Ha, Ricki. I think I am hearing from all those in my same choir (to use still another metaphor).

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  14. Best of luck on this, Linda! i do the same thing with almost anything I'm weeding - stop, look it over, think, think, put back to come to later...not a good plan, and it doesn't work, but I try it that way time and time again!

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    1. I remember your kitchen cabinet clean out, Donna. I am determined this year to weed more, books and other things too! Thanks!

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  15. This is a task that is difficult on the heart. I know what you are going through. Are there any Little Free Libraries in Denver that you could add to their collections? I know you will solve this dilemma, but don't be in a rush.

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    1. I have other things going on, too, Elsie, so can't be in too much of a rush, but when I make a plan, like donating to a hospital, it might be easier. I know of no little free libraries, but could also give to Denver Public for their sale.

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  16. Oh what great evidence of a literate life! Books...here...there...everywhere! This will be my dilemma soon enough so I am thankful to see a model in you of a way to manage it. I will be listening for your sage advice. Best in this endeavor! :)

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    1. Well, I'll try hard to give you sage advice, but since I'm asking for it, too, we'll see if I come up with anything, Kim. Thanks!

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  17. Tammy and I rented a storage bin --we couldn't part with them yet. Love the pictures -- best of luck sorting and choosing. Wish we had better advice!!
    Clare

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    1. Oh my, now I know I may not be asking the right people! How I need a garage! Thanks, Clare.

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  18. Well I guess I'm in the minority but when I packed up my old house of 30+ years I made myself downsize. . . A lot! Here is my suggestion, make piles of must haves, not sure and definite sell/donate. Once you make the piles stick to your guns :-). See what space/bookshelves you have to fill and fill those shelves only. It's hard Linda but I know you can do it! I acually love doing this! I know I'm nuts :-) also congrats on your retirement!

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    1. Thanks Lynn, I think I may start with carrying those I'm keeping to an upstairs room. I just don't have the room anymore to mess about with them. You've given me courage!

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  19. I can't imagine what would happen if I had to move all my books home. As it is, I got lots of comments about moving them to a new classroom. But, like you, I just don't know which ones I may need in the future. I come by this naturally. My parents have too many books, too. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks, Margaret, I'm not surprised by your comment. I still have a few books from my mother!

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  20. Books are our babies--it is so hard to pick and choose!!! Good luck!!

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  21. It is hard to part with books. They become our friends and give us comfort, sitting on the shelves (or lying in a pile on the floor) waiting to welcome us. Best wishes in solving your dilemma!

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    1. You've summed it up beautifully, Jane. Now to say goodbye to some of these friends!

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  22. Oh, Linda, your pictures made me laugh. My books were the easiest part of the process. I left most of my middle school collection for the teacher coming after me (except for a few favorites). But picture books are so hard to part with. I'm trying hard to hold myself to what fits on the bookshelves in our home. However, I'm still struggling with piles of files that don't fit into my filing cabinet!

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    1. And I didn't share the piles of files, but that is not too much of a problem. I re-cycled so much at school of those. Most others are on computer. I'll get there, soon is what I hope! Thanks Ramona!

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  23. I understand the problem. Going through books is bitter-sweet so many memories. And you know that for many you are saying farewell to them.

    I have books galore. Several years ago a friend was flying to see her grandsons in Hong Kong and asked me if I had some books that she could take to them. I said sure. When I got home I told my husband about it. He was quiet for about half a minute. With all seriousness commented did you tell her you would give her 2 or 3 thousand. I smiled at him and said, "I don't think they would all fit in her suitcase."

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    1. Ha, ha, Ruth. I know that I'm looking for advice from those who have more books than I do. I guess I should be grateful that I didn't bring all those other books with me when I moved. What a great story! No advice though.

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  24. So many decisions! I have no good advice! They are treasures! Hard to know what to do! <3

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    1. I understand. Either others have already thinned out the collection or haven't done anything, yet. Thanks, Loralee!

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  25. As much as I love the cluttered spaces of books, I love the outpouring of advice and ideas for what to do with all the books. Books are like puppies--we must find a good home for each of them. What a task.

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    1. Love the analogy, Maya. Adopting them out is a fun way to think about it!

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  26. Oh Linda that does make me chuckle too. I didn't get around last night to visit slices, so they are happy surprises this morning with my coffee. I think I worked in the office until late! I have to move my classroom next January and then I know I will have to a deep book purge too. I have so many and it's difficult to choose. My friend says better a book in someone's hands than dusty on a shelf which may help me relaunch books into the world that I haven't used or read in some time, I'll enjoy thinking of you today as we both tackle and tend our office piles!

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  27. On a separate note, The Harry Potter Alliance also has a book donation program-- Accacio Books--they donate books and support libraries in communities that need them.

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    1. Thanks for all Lee Ann. I'll think of you these days of "cleaning"!

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  28. I hate making these kind of choices! But right now I have piles all over my house, in my garage and in a storage locker. Yikes!

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    1. I was hoping you would take a few off my hands, Carol! Yikes indeed!

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  29. Books, books, books. But they are treasures! And represent so many things. I can't imagine. I would just sit in the piles and read. Sorry, no help at all!

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    1. Ha! I knew you might say that, Carrie. I wish you lived closer so I could share with your classroom!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!