week three - free books


(If you haven't been following read the 2 previous posts first)...

Today Owen got his first library card….and was really proud of it. Really proud of it.
He carried it around in his pocket all day. He even fished it out at “children’s time” at church……..interrupting the entire lesson to show off his magical plastic card.

But library cards are pretty powerful, I mean you can just walk in, flash that puppy…and walk out with an armload of books. Which are 100% free if you can remember to return them on time and keep your kids from coloring in them ( both of which I struggle with).

Turns out I have built my own little library. Minus the Dewey decimal system. I have always wanted a house filled with books. And I have it. There are too many books to count, so I won’t even try.
There are at least 9 shelves of books.
Not counting the random piles of coffee tables, kitchen tables and bathroom counters.
Not counting the bookshelves in Owen in Tess’s rooms.
Not counting the borrowed books stacked neatly (or not so neatly) on the bedside table.
Not counting the ones in the car or the bathroom or the ones at school.
At least 3 of those shelves are probably Shaun’s. Leaving 6 shelves of my books.
So the goal is to get it down to 3.

I am happy to load my friends and family down with books that I have read.
I lend them out freely, often telling them to pass them on to someone else when they finish.
I rarely reread a book.
So, I have no problem passing them on.
I want to pass them on.
I want my friends to read my books.
Because I love them. Or because they have changed me. Or because they were just plain good. And I want to share that. I want my friends to love what I love. Learn what I have learned. And be changed or entertained or challenged right along with me.
A book is so much better if you can talk about it with a friend.
I’m not sure why I am so free to give away books and not other things. It isn’t like I ever just hand a friend 20 bucks or my favorite pair of jeans…and say enjoy …and tell me what you think about it afterwards.

So I thought giving away half my books would be easy.
I do it pretty regularly anyways. In addition to giving all my favorite books to my mom and my friends, I have also filled up big boxes to the brim with books that I don’t want anymore. I take them to half price, gasp a little at the ridiculously low price they want to offer me for these prizes, but take it anyways……….and do what any literay loving person would do. Which is buy more books.

But usually when I fill up those boxes, I mostly give away Shaun’s books.
Or the books that I didn’t really like or remember.
Not the good ones.
Not the copy of Catcher in the Rye that I’ve had since the 9th grade.
Or the signed copy of Bird by Bird
Or my favorite CS Lewis (Until we have Faces).
Or the books that make me want to be a better person, like Donald Miller’s latest: A Thousand Miles in a Million Years. I’m still chewing on that one.
Those are the books that I ask for back when I give them to a friend to read.
That I don’t want to part with.
That even though I usually don’t reread them. I take comfort in the fact that I can.
Or because I think they are the books that will impress people when they see them sitting on my coffee table.
So this week, I will give away my books. Half of them. And there are too many to count, so I’ll just go by shelf space. Not my husbands or my kids or even the ones that my mom has passed on to me. But mine.

So currently they are piled into a footlocker size tub waiting until my husband gets back in town so he can lift them into my car. Because I can't make that tub budge.
But eventually I will drive them down to Half Price.
And they will offer me some offensively low amount for all these books. And I'll say ok.
And I will take that little white slip to the counter.
And I might possibly have to close my eyes while I walk there so I want be tempted by all the pretty covers and stories that I want to be a part of.
And I will cash out.
And I will give that money to the first person I see that needs it. Or asks for it. Or has a cardboard sign.

But some of the books.
I will give to you.
And all you have to do is ask.

The rules……
Just pick one.
Leave your name and the book you want in the comment section. ( first one to request it gets it).
If I need to mail it you, please email me your address (shaun.michelle@sbcglobal.net). Be patient on the mailing. I despise actually going to the post office. Shipping is on me, but I’d like it a lot if you gave the $ I spent of shipping away.
So here are the prizes….I tried to pick a wide range.

Let me Tell you a Story by Tony Campolo (life lessons from unexpected places and unlikely people)
Rachael Ray 365: No repeats Yes I still heart Rachel Ray even if she is too smiley
Me Talk Pretty One Day by Dave Sedaris. If you don’t love Dave Sedaris you should.
Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Wasn’t over the moon about this one…..but it is pretty popular right now and it has some great moments.
Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. Love love this novel. Kind of a female catcher in the rye. Complete with lots of fbombs.
Sex God by Rob Bell, no Velvet Elvis…..but still pretty great. And no it isn’t naughty.
Don’t make me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman (heart and scripture oriented discipline)…..and obviously a book I need to reread if you have ever seen me out and about w/ my two crazy kids.
Small Wonder by Barbara Kingsolver ( or you might know her from the Poisonwood Bible)…this is a collection of essays…kind of scienc-y, earthy and spiritual all at the same time.
Grace Eventually by Anne Lammott. I heart Anne Lammott, but it all goes a bit down hill after Traveling Mercies.
The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. And no, I absolutely do not want to give this book away….but I’m pretty sure it is what Shane would do.

4 comments:

Alyssa said...

May I have the Rachel Ray cookbook? I am limiting myself to one b/c I just made the run to 1/2 Price Books on Monday.

Dawn said...

I'm thinking that I need the Don't Make Me Count to Three. I just got rid of lots of books too. Sold a few in the garage sale, took the left overs to Goodwill and dropped off a box of Christian genre at the church on Friday. It feels good to have "emptier" shelves!

onevoice said...

Can I get me some David Sedaris? And by the way, have you heard him sing the bologna song?!

Margie said...

I, too, have too many books, and am trying to give away, get rid of, stop buying. The library has helped me so much in that area. But I have to agree: Anne Lamott's follow ups to Traveling Mercies fall way, way short. Lately, I've almost been bugged about them. She bugs me. It's the adamant, arrogant pro-abortion stance, I think. But I can't figure out why now, more than a year after I read the last release, I've taken such a negative position about her. Weird.