Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thoughts on saying farewell (or see you later) to a few books

There is an Anna Quindlen quote I love.  She says, “I would be the most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.”  So true, Anna.  So true.  My children have reaped the benefits of my love of children's books and my many years of being able to take advantage of an employee discount.  But they've also acquired quite a few books on their own, and the boys' bookcase is consequently filled to capacity.  We need a new "decoration".

We have commissioned a new bookcase from my super talented, wood-working father.  He will make something sturdy and beautiful and he always stains his work to my dark-cherry preferences.  But he actually has a day job, and excellence takes time, so we have been looking for a solution to the problem of the new books not having a home on the current shelf.  I'm a little obsessive and can't stand it when everything doesn't have its own place.  My husband suggested that we remove all Christmas books from the shelf, and bring them back out in time for next Christmas.  It's a great suggestion!  Practical, and maybe good for us.  Maybe reading Christmas books just at Christmas will render those books a little more special.  Maybe the association between the Christmas books and a certain time of year will become clearer. Yesterday, I pulled the books off the shelf.  I'm having a hard time.

Once, when DD was a wee tyke and could barely talk, I was picking up his books and putting them on the shelf.  I remember how he pitifully cried and asked for his favorites among them.  "Max", (as I attempted to shelve Where the Wild Things Are), "Moon" (for Goodnight Moon), "Mama" (for Mama, Why?). Through tears and pleas, he rescued each one back to his lap, and yesterday I remembered that moment, and understood.  I'll keep our Christmas books close, and we might even put them right back where they belong on the shelf once we have more bookcase real estate.  But the idea of putting a beloved book, any beloved book, up on a high closet shelf or otherwise out of sight, seems like a farewell to me.  Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear deserves a review, as does Bear Stays Up For Christmas  and Mortimer's Christmas Manger.  We love David Shannon's David, and we'll miss his Christmas book.  DD loves How the Grinch Stole Christmas any day of the year.

Maybe those reviews will wait until next Christmas.  And maybe they won't.

Are there any books that you put away for special occasions? 

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