Thursday, December 04, 2008

Killing Babies

I used to work for a daily newspaper, long ago. It was such an excellent job -- I loved working there so much. I worked the evening shift, 4 to midnight or whenever the paper went to bed. I loved everything about it.

Especially the newspaper-speak. Lots of code. TK = to come (as in, the story will come later). And my favorite: "killing babies" (editing your story to fit). Each word was a beloved baby... and it was the editor's job to ruthlessly hack and chop the copy to fit the space.

That's we're doing now: killing babies. Only they're books, not words. We have five large bookshelves stacked and packed with beloved books. We're limiting ourselves to one bookcase each (of course we're taking the two largest cases).

In order to make a painful, agonizing job easier, I decided to just go through and choose the books I really wanted to keep, rather than consider each book carefully. Just the quick-sweep of the ones I knew I would miss. That worked pretty well. I think I'm down to less than one bookcase. The hard part is not looking back to see if I missed anything...

(it helps that we decided that cookbooks are separate, since they belong in the kitchen).

What did I keep? Favorites from childhood that I've lugged around all these years... local outdoor guides... piano music... art reference... a few spiritual-reference books... and that's about it. Almost no fiction (except a few classics that are expensive and that I re-read often). If I could get it at the library later, out it went.

We're having a massive garage sale on Saturday. I hope people come and take our babies and give them a good home.

1 comment:

Nymeth said...

I hope the sale goes well, and also that they do get good homes.