I’d always imagined that I’d spend part of my retirement re-reading the books that lit up my imagination when I was younger. That’s why I kept copies of all those books in the last century in storage while we spent a couple of decades out of the country.
I realised a while ago that this wasn’t going to work out. I discussed it in a post called ‘Time Enough At Last… But Not At This Font Size’ back in January 2019. My eyesight has deteriorated to the point where I can only read trade paperbacks and hardbacks and even then, it’s not a comfortable thing. I look at Mass Market Paperbacks and wonder how I ever read something with print that small and why I thought it was a good idea.
You’d think then that, over the past two and a half years. I might have gotten rid of all those books that I can’t read. It would have been the rational thing to do. But I didn’t. I kept putting it off, because those books are memories and I don’t want to lose mine.
Today, I decided that I need to make another push and donate books either to Book Barn International, the local charity shops or the second hand book store at our local market.
The books in the photographs above are the ones I hesitated the most over. There was a time when C.J. Cherryh was my sure-fire route to somewhere else when i needed not to be here anymore. I still remember the scorn on the face of the bookseller in Waterstones when I turned up to collect my special-order copy of ‘The Kiff Strike Back’. He though I was a moron. I knew I was a connoisseur.
So, I’ve made myself a deal. I’m going to release these books into the wild in the hope that they’ll get a good home and I’m going to buy ebook or audiobook copies of them when I’m ready to read them.
I’ve already bought copies of Kristin Kathryn Rushe’s ‘Facade’ – a thriller about an actor trying to find peace on the Oregon coast who ends up being disturbed by notes from his murdered daughter and reports of a doppelgänger committing acts of violence on the beach. How could I let that go?
Then there’s Kath Koja’s bizarre and disturbing horror story, ‘Skin’ and Nancy Kress’s biotech thriller ‘Oaths and Miracles’. You see the pattern. I made myself stop there, promising not to buy more until I’ve read those. Ah, the coping mechanisms we addicts use.
Anyway, I’m now down to only a few bookcases worth of books and most of them I can still read, so I’m going to count that as progress, declare victory and move on.