Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Last week's Booking Through Thursday question was about weeding out books. (Weeding out books!? Who does THAT?! Doesn't everybody keep every book they have "just in case"?! You never know what emergency might develop, after all....!)

At any rate, I thought Barbara H. had an interesting and pointed response to the question (which you can read if you click here) in which she said that she asks herself the following questions about the books on her shelves when deciding whether or not to keep them:

1. Am I ever realistically going to read this again?

2. Do I honestly think I’ll ever refer to it again?

3. Do I seriously think my children might want it some day?

4. Could someone else get more use out of it than it is getting just sitting here on my shelf?

Those are good questions to ask and my questions to myself are very similar if not exactly the same. It IS hard not to hoard books. At the same time, I rather dislike clutter and have been working to keep the bookshelves in a manageable state. Currently I am making double stacks on my bookshelves. I don't like that. If you can't see what you have, you won't know what you have to read. If you aren't reading it, then you probably don't need it. This is my philosophy and conundrum. I would rather my house not look like this:

(Jonathan would also appreciate it if our house did not look like this!)

The books I really want to keep are the ones I want to enjoy with my children and have for them to enjoy by themselves as they grow up. There are some books that pertain to the Christian life that I like to have on hand for reference and refreshment. There are my favorites that I like to dive into on rainy days and in times when I want to "lose" myself. But I can't keep everything and I know that too! What's a book readin' girl to do!? Decisions, decisions. Declutter, redistribute and bless, I guess! It's just that cleaning off bookshelves is hard. *insert whining* Stay tuned. I might have a few to pass along in the near future.


In the meantime, for a bit of amusement, check out the following website to get what I'm pretty sure is a completely unscientific and inaccurate count for how many words you can read in a minute. It may be inaccurate, but it's kinda fun!

It says I read 450-500 words a minute if you wanted to know. I don't trust that average because of this:

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to bechewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts,others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly,and with diligence and attention.~ Francis Bacon ~

The speed at which I read anything is entirely dependant on what it is and what I'm purposing to get out of it. So I would say that my word count varies.


Lastly, just for fun I took the Narnia personality quiz.

The good thing is that it means, "you can always be trusted to be loyal and faithful." It also means I'm motherly and therefore can be a little bossy.

If you'd like to take this quiz (and I mean, come on!, who wouldn't?!) check out the Narnia Personality Quiz here. (And tell me who you are! I mean, you don't have to. I'm just...curious.)


Oh wait! One more thing! Just for fun (despite the annoying announcer):


Laura said...

Oh, the exquisite pain of having too many books!

I weed, winnow, and thresh several times a year, and still our collection continues to grow.

But I think I've come up with a solution, although it is not a quick solution. I have 7 children and 2 stepchildren. Six of my seven are avid readers, while one daughter and both stepsons are sometimes readers. I've proposed to my children that they each take with them at least 1000 books when they leave home. That will leave me with 1500 to 3000, but maybe some will take more than 1000, and maybe I can talk the non-readers to take a few dozen, at least.

I'm hopeful that three of my children will be out on their own, graduated and with jobs, within the next 3 or 4 years. Until then, I'm trying hard to slow down the acquisition of books.

Elisabeth said...

"As Prince Caspian you are a noble, goodhearted but mischievous scallywag! Fun loving, you are admired for your easy going nature. "

Ha! But pretty much accurate...

Shawntele said...

I adore books and my shelves are so full that my stacks have stacks! Your post gave me something to think about, thank you. :)

Stephanie Kay said...

I am "most like Peter Pevensie, once High King of Narnia. As Peter, you are brave, loyal yet intelligent, and are greatly respected for upholding what you think is right."

That means I like to boss everyone - right? :)

I have a question to add to your list for decluttering books - Is this a book I'd loan to someone? If I don't like enough to want others to read it then I'm all for letting it go.

Islandsparrow said...

Shoot - I don't even like to read questions about letting books go.

But I did it - this week - they were textbooks that I had in university - um - 30 years ago.

I think I need an intervention.


Barbara H. said...

I should have noted in that post that if there is any doubt at all about a book, I keep it: I figure it would cost more to get it later or it might not be in print later. When I do go through them I don't get rid of nearly as many as my husband probably wishes I would. Neither of us wants a house like the one pictured, either, but I do have some double-stacked shelves and don't like that, either.

My results said I read 250 - 300 words per minute, but that would greatly depend on what I am reading and what frame of mind I am in while reading.

In the Narnia quiz I got Prince Rillian: "As Prince Rilian, you are brave, noble and intelligent, but easily misguided! Just make sure you don't go after any green women." I don't even remember who that is. I don't think I am easily misguided. No worries about green women, or men either, for that matter!!

We're looking forward to Toy Story 3.

Mama Sky said...

Get rid of books??? I only get rid of books I would never read again. which is not very many because I am very picky with what I read in the first place!
The last time I tried a new book by an author I had never heard of and was not recommended by a TRUSTED friend is when I got the first book in The Mysterious Benedict Society two years ago. LOVED it! Kept it.

As Tirian, you are valiant, brave and loyal. While you may have a silly name, you help others in the face of adversity and always uphold what is right.

(Actually I think Tirian is great name!)

I got 300-450 words per minute and I was very purposefully reading every word. So it was a slow read for me. But I kind of wanted to finish the story!

Thanks for the fun stuff!

Petunia said...

I also got Susan. I'm wondering how one can be a mom and not be bossy. It's in the job description.

I got 150-200 words which is what I've gotten on past tests. Yeah, I'm not a fast reader. At. All.

Thanks for the trailer. My kids enjoyed it.

BTW, I was reading some posts fom Sept. and you mentioned having been a member of Doug Wilson's church. Were you familiar with the Lawyer's? Mike is Doug's assistant. My family was rather close to Mike and Eileen when they ran a bible study at our church before going to Idaho. Small world.

Lisa Spence said...

Book hoarding is a real temptation but I'm learning to let go, at least of most of the fiction. I still tend to keep most of the non fiction I read. Those are some good parameters to keep in mind.

CAN'T WAIT FOR TOY STORY 3!!!!! We went to see the 1 & 2 Double feature in 3d a few weeks ago--what fun! Love Toy Story!

Unknown said...

I got 350-400, but I was consciously reading it fairly slowly --just like I would if I was taking in that kind of novel. I am pretty sure I could skim and read maybe 600? Maybe I'll try that. It's fun.

I'm going to have Amanda do it now, because we were just talking about reading fast (she got 200-250).

And I like Barbara's criteria for keeping a book as well. With as many books as I get now, I'm pretty discriminating. Sometimes I loan them out and think "If I don't get it back, fine." It has to be a novel I LOVED to hold on to it (or children's books that I want to keep forever).

I also tend to hold on to Christian nonfiction as well, because my library isn't well-stocked.

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Weeding through books is something I am not very good at, at all. But I have to admit, we are just out of room... So when new books come in, I try to make old books go out. But it's so hard! I'd rather weed out some furniture and buy more bookshelves! (But my family probably prefers to have places to sit.) :)

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