Myself
Comments 32

Mother Nature is a bitch.

fuckPhoto taken on my walk.

She really is.

I was meant to write this blog post yesterday, but Mother Nature spent the entire day tormenting me, so I was far too upset and exhausted to even contemplate it.

Why is she so mean?

She’s obviously reading my blog, specifically my last two blog posts filled with all the joys of Spring. It clearly sent her over the edge. I awoke at around 4.30am Tuesday morning to hear her sending down all the vengeance of the sky, pouring down rain so heavy it sounded like it was coming through the roof. So heavy that we couldn’t even consider going back to sleep until she quietened down a bit, almost an hour later. Her sky in the morning was horribly gray and bruised from her battering the night before, but I decided (stupidly) to ignore it and go for a walk.

Hah! Mother Nature said. Right where I want her!!

She waited (like a bitch) until I was about three kilometres from home. Then she opened the heavens and threw down the best she had, coupling it with driving winds which made each droplet feel like a needle piercing my back. No cover to be seen. What followed was a desperate sprint through this torrential downpour, stared at bemusedly by every single car who passed me. I was so exhausted when I got home that my soaking gym clothes are still in a puddle on my bathroom floor.

But don’t worry, she hadn’t quite finished with me yet. Remember how I told you that we’re moving? Well, Mother Nature decided it was time to teach me one last lesson. The house we live in is incredibly old and old-fashioned, meaning the front door is one of those good looking but impractical set-ups constructed entirely of rotting wood and ancient, impossible to replace frosted glass. As I battled my way outside to get the bins to the street for pick up, Mother Nature played her final trick on me. She slammed that door shut so hard that she cracked three of the glass panes. Ancient, irreplaceable glass planes. To say we don’t have enough money to pay for this is the understatement of the year.

Mother Nature is a bitch.

I’m not even going to tell you what the weather is like here today, in case I bring forth more punishment. Instead, I will fill you in on what yesterdays blog post was going to be about. I’m going to draw a (figurative and literal) line in the sand here, because I want to put that bitch M.N. out of my head.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Much better.

Ok, so on Sunday I told you that due to us moving I had to do something. Something horrible. Something that I have never done before, in my entire life. Some of you may have guessed it, others may not care. But I’m telling you anyway.

I had…

I had to…

I had to…CULL. MY. BOOKS.

IMG_4051 IMG_4050

(Don’t worry, no Penguin’s were harmed in this process.)

When I say I have never done this before in my entire life, I speak the truth. My current collection contains the following titles from my childhood:

  • Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes (given to me on my christening, according to the inscription)
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri (originally belonged to a friend of my mother)
  • The Nursery Peter Pan (belonged to my mother when she was a child)
  • An enormous collection of Enid Blyton’s, including The Naughtiest Girl (given to me by my Nana on my tenth birthday)
  • Nothing’s Fair in Fifth Grade by Barthe DeClements (there is an awful back story to this book, I’ll tell you one day)

and

  • The entire Tomorrow When the War Began collection, by John Marsden

IMG_5390

These are included in the books I’m keeping. 

Included in the ones which are sadly biting the dust (or more accurately, being sold in our garage sale) are the following titles:

  • Laying Down the Law 5th Edition (from my failed Law degree)
  • One Day Cricket by Adam Gilchrist (from my brief stint, aged twelve, as a massive cricket fan)
  • A few random The Babysitter’s Club books
  • Mystery of the Phantom Grasshopper (Trixie Belden series) by Kathryn Kenny
  • Remembrance by Danielle Steel

and

  • Books One& Two of the Fifty Shades trilogy, left here by my former room-mate. (I promise. I did actually try to read them but it was clearly beyond my intellectual capabilities, as I couldn’t seem to understand what the ‘author’ was trying to say.)

IMG_5391

Biting the dust.

I also have to give a special mention to a special book. This was also handed down to me by my mother, but it hasn’t fared so well over the years. Nevertheless, I have continued to hold onto it as it is a truly spectacular little book. It is none other than Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner.

IMG_5392

This book has had a long and industrious career, but I think it is now time to lay it to rest. So begins the hunt for a new copy. If any of you see it in a second hand book store I would highly recommend picking it up, it is brilliant. (From memory. I haven’t read it for about fifteen years…)

So there you have it. A big step in my life, a huge moment. I still have a gigantic collection of books to move, including an entire set of Encyclopaedia Britannica’s (plus Atlas), but I’ll worry about that when I get to it. Which will probably be tomorrow. No gym for me.

A room without books is like a body without a soul. 

– Cicero. 

Say no more.

 

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32 Comments

  1. I’ve done this to ‘pass it on’ as my sister advised. I could not bring myself to do it with all of my favourites. I reread books I’ve loved. And then I’ve gone and bought more. Once a bibliophile, always a bibliophile. 🙂 x

  2. Brieuse Bernhard Piers-Gûdmönd says

    Broken windows are such a pane. Good luck moving…

  3. I hate giving up books, but when I do, I console myself that at least someone else is now enjoying the book. Good luck with your move 🙂

  4. Jayde, do you have any insurance for the house? You may be able to claim. We are also having a set-to with MN just now but nothing broken yet, touch wood.

    I culled my books 4 years ago – I hated doing it but the new house is still overflowing, which is why I have embraced e-books for some reading. Special books still get bought in hard/paperback format. Don’t cry too much when they go.

    • Thanks Andrew. Yes, waiting to hear back from the real estate (shudder) as to whether the owners will claim on their insurance or at least foot half the cost. I hope nothing too dramatic happens to you over there in HK!

      I won’t cry too much, I probably should have done this years ago too 🙂 Now everything on my bookshelf will be there for a reason, hand-picked and meaningful. I am looking forward to the day when we own our own house, and I can have a LIBRARY!

  5. I’m also doing this, but simply because I’ve decided I have too many books. If I find a cheap second hand book that looks nice I tend to buy it, but many of them never get read. I’m now getting rid of those I’ve decided I’m never going to read or read again and it’s actually quite liberating. Some I’m selling online, but most I’m donating to the library of the school where I used to work. Still, that act of removing it from the shelf, putting it in a box and handing it over is hard.

    • You’re absolutely right, it is hard! Donating them to a school library is such a nice idea, because I know many of them struggle to get the funding for books.

  6. Oh I do so hate to cull my books…the inevitable disaster always happens…after a year that I don’t have the book any longer, up pops a memory that just needs checking in that particular book…or maybe I want to re-read for the umteen bizillion time…and its gone, and I can’t find a copy in the library (my libraries are all in Italian)…after 40 years I still wish I had my copy of an old sci-fi called The White Lotus, long long out of print…sigh.

    • That is the exact thing that I dread! It was hard to make a decision on a lot of them, but I tried to tell myself that if I have felt no desire to read it in years it’s probably not worth holding on to…I may live to regret those words 🙂

      • True, but culling must be done from time to time, especially when you’re changing houses or cities or in my case countries 🙂

      • That’s right. I’ve dragged my current collection around the place, through about 8 different rentals across Australia. But the time has come 🙂

    • Hi again Bastet, I just remembered a similar situation I had when travelling through Asia. I found these fantastic books in second hand bookstores by Thai, Cambodian and Laotian authors, probably very cheaply published and not released outside the country. They were absolutely fantastic, but of course I had to leave them behind due to space constraints. Now, not only would I struggle to find them again, but I can’t even remember the names of a lot of them.
      Heartbreaking.

      • Know what you mean. The books I’ve left behind…oh well, that might be the one good thing about e-books. They can’t replace paper books, but some of the more obscure things can be saved perhaps electronically. I’m writing to you now from me netbook Bastet and here I have over a thousand titles picked up over the years. I usually read paper, but when I travel, it’s Bastet that comes with me. Here I have selected music, a couple of films and my e-book library which is on a sd card.

  7. I feel your pain…I tried to cull my book collection a few years back, but I didn’t do a very good job! Most of them are still in boxes, and the collection just keeps multiplying. I’m just hoping I can squeeze in another book case somewhere!!

    • That’s exactly my problem! I have already told my boyfriend that when we own our own home I’m having a library…no matter what!!

  8. Totally had to look up what ‘culling’ meant. I assumed it meant selling/getting rid of, but then a part of me was like… what if it’s worse? What if it means like throwing away? After the minor heart attack I realized you would never throw anything in a paperback away, and I was just being silly. I am sure they will all find a loving place on a cozy bookshelf, or on a desk next to a bottle of whiskey or gin. They will feel right at home 🙂

    • Haha you’re so right, I could never throw a paperbook away. In fact, there were three that are completely ruined, falling apart with big sections missing, and I have been Googling ‘creative ideas for old books’ just so I don’t have to throw them away!!

  9. Ah Jayde… Mother Nature is not a bitch, she is only Mother Nature being Mother Nature. As for culling books, I get it, completely. Damn, I hate to remove books from our collection. Once, when I was sitting on the floor of a home in Alaska picking out which books to take with me and which to leave, I even found tears running down my face, Nowadays, Peggy and I try to keep our collection to two thousand. That’s all the room we have in our book cases and there is no room for more book cases. (grin) –Curt

    • Two thousand?? That’s so impressive Curt! My collection isn’t that big yet, due to my constant moving, but I’ll be aiming for that number for sure!

  10. When I moved across the Atlantic I had to do cull books too. It’s awful. It’s like leaving a part of your soul behind.

    • It really is. As Bastet mentioned above, I always get worried that I’ll never find them in print again, and a little piece of me will be gone forever!!

  11. My husband and I make periodic decisions along these lines. In past years we have generally built another room. More recently we have usually managed to find a duplicate or two, but that’s about it. We know it will have to happen one day but…

  12. Pingback: Paperbook Land. | The Paperbook Blog.

  13. I actually laughed out loud at the comment you made about Fifty Shades. 😀 In fact I’m still giggling.
    Sorry about the glass. What a pane in the ass that must be…

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