So I went through my old paperbacks . . .

So I went through my old paperback, you know, the ones that I’ve been collecting since I was 12, most of them garnered when between the ages of 15 and 18, but written anywhere from 1950 to 1985.  I had a brutal hand this time, putting entire beloved series in the “pass on” box, keeping only the first title to remind me of the feeling the work gave me.  I slashed my library to perhaps a half of what I had, which was already two-thirds, and two-thirds again, and so on, making the bottom line perhaps a tenth of what I started with ten years ago.

But you know what?  I couldn’t do it with the Young Adult titles.  I could not put those very first books in the “go” box.  They were too much a part of what shaped my thoughts and thinking processes to discard, even though I will never read them again, and they only take up space on my shelf.  Legacy, perhaps.

The ones I kept?  Let me think.  The Narnia books, the first Nine Princes in Amber, A few beloved Andrea Norton, The Zero Stone.  (Loved that one)  Have Space Suit, Will Travel, Dandelion Wine, Midnight at the Well of Souls.  The first three Dragon Singer books, Lloyd Alexander.  Larry Niven.  Ring World.  Ice Rings.  Robert Aspirin.  (I met him when I was in High School.  It was Rad.)

Sort of explains a few things . . .

And the picture?  That’s my Author Chow.  I have it for breakfast every day.  🙂


Filed under Drama Box

28 responses to “So I went through my old paperbacks . . .

  1. Ah yes. The stuff of magic. We’ve also gotten rid of many hundreds of books, but some just have to stay … Horse and dog stories, Lad and The Black Stallion … and the Great Book of Amber … and Earth Abides. Angelique (and all the following books) … and Lord of the Rings … and The Far Arena … and Dragonriders of Pern … so many books … Those I still have. In fact, I still have too many, but some things, you just have to keep.

  2. Amy Ziegler

    Hey Kim, just realized that although I have been following your blog daily, I haven\’t written anything in a long time. And since I just found this
    and it says \”Harper Collins specials\” and there\’s one for 2013 and 2014, I wanted to ask if you know what\’s going on?
    I have finished uni last year and found an internship in a publishing house here and am very happy. I wish you a great weekend and since you don\’t read posts then, a fabulous Monday 😉

    • Martin

      The German translations and publications are running several years/ books behind the American releases. I would guess that these are the release dates for books we have already seen.

    • I’m not sure, Aimee. They might be the INTO THE WOODS compilation?
      That is fantastic on the work front! Congrats!

  3. Kiera

    Love the first three Dragon Singer books….also love what we can see of the Trent/Rachel dialogue under your author chow…and the tantalizing character/scene/chapter sheet to the side. What a tease! 😉

  4. Hi Ms. Kim-there is a pre-requisite to author chow,which is teeth.Maybe that’s one rreason I can never get my book about raising a teen-age girl by myself done

    • jkh

      Jim, I’m so sorry. I live in a subsidized housing bldg, and I’m on Medicare/Medicaid as are many of my neighbors. I’ve never seen so many toothless people. Medicaid will pay for extractions, will cheerfully pull all your teeth, and Medicare will pay for ONE set of dentures, but as you well know they don’t last/fit forever, and so the very-low-income folks are out of luck. Right now I’ve got something brewing in the upper right quadrant, and I may lose a third tooth. I’m dreading it, and grieving already.

  5. Martin

    Under the page of dialog is a chapter and character grid. More Teasing!!! Ms. Harrison, you are so bad, you’re GOOD!!

    I hesitate to thin our books; many of them are collectible. The only question, which ones? When we run out of shelf space, I build more shelves. We aren’t out of house space yet….

  6. Randy

    What better thing could there possibly be to hoard than books? Then again, sending them on to be discovered and loved by another sounds like a fine option as well.

    Happy sorting,


  7. ~Lynn from Haverhill

    I need to go through mine. I even have some stacks of books on the floor. Oh well.. another time I suppose.
    Glad to see u pop in. We all missed u. Have a beautiful weekend and keep up the good writing!
    Ps. ur chow looks yummy, but I hope u have a tasty beverage to go with that bowl. 😉
    Pps. I can’t make out much of the dialogue. Looks like a Trent and Rache convo.. but I do see something about the church needing groceries. I can’t help but wonder if that relates to the day u were outta author chow. Either way.. makes me smile. Thanks for the lil peeks!

  8. Carey

    Hi, Kim. I can’t help but notice it looks like a page of dialog between Trent, Jenks and Rachel sitting under that bowl… I love the teasing. I keep trying to strain to read more 🙂

  9. Funny, I did the exact same thing about 2 years ago and kept almost all the same books! No wonder I love your writing, we read and are influenced by many of the things.

  10. Vampyre

    Howdy ma’am,

    Glad to see you posting again. I was go ing to try summoning you. No one knew your summoning name. 🙂

    When I ran out of space, I gave all my books to the library, twice.


    • Vampyre

      While every one else is drooling over dialogue sheet, I am captivated by, “3 pellets a day, no more.” No body loves a fat fish. 🙂


  11. lashumway

    I bow to your brutality. I actually still can’t part with my David Eddings or my J.R.R. Tolkien books–even though several of them have literally split into two or more pieces due to old age. Maybe next go round, maybe, probably not, though. At this point, they’re more than just the words on the page, I’m attached to the actual, physical book. Yes, I realize that’s ever so slightly insane, but so be it. I’m in touch with my own personal insanity. It could be worse.

  12. Charlie

    You sparked my interest by mentioning “Have Space Suit, Will Travel” by Robert A. Heinlein. Think i want to read that one. Will have to take a little time away from reading all the UF titles on my list. haha

  13. James

    Yummy!! Breakfast of Champions!!! lol

  14. I’ve gone through several rounds of book purging in the last few years. I just don’t know if I can get rid of any more, although I am once again out of shelf space.

  15. jkh

    I’ve done a few major purges over the past decade and a half. In one of those moves, some of the boxes I labeled “KEEP” got donated, and a lot of the books that were Mine got labeled Donate, but the most precious children’s books are in my daughter’s possession, so that’s OK. Right now I’m downsizing to a very small apt, and I’m reducing my hoard of books by half. It’s almost painful (maybe I’m part dragon somehow).
    I love the Author Chow: is it frosted shreddies, or plain?

  16. You are very brave… I don’t have it in me to part with so many beloved books I have spent so many years loving and holding onto even when i knew i didn’t have the space for them … Giving up so many of my beloved books would be like loosing a child to me haha (as dramatic as it sounds) I just love them so much.. For me personally even the oldest of my collection will keep a special shelf even if its just to brush my fingers down the spines and remember them.

  17. traelynn69

    I have gone through my book collection numerous times. Every time I will get rid of around 10 books. It is so hard though!! Each one is like a member of the family, but I know for me to get new books I have to weed through the old. I need to have at least 2 days to do it because I will start to read the keepers again and before I know it I’ve spent several hours reading not going through stuff! lol … ;o)

  18. I need to go through mine but cant.. I love the author chow lol looks yummy

  19. Hi Ms. Kim-Its Jim from Warren-I am hanging onto my books,even if I can’t read them anymore. Nine Princes in Amber”was my intro to Roger Zelazny,and I have all of them.Of course, I had to sell my house,land and furniture,for what I could get,(I got robbed of course) and move here with not much more than my clothes and cats(plus books) Not even my kids photos,as it turned out.The movers lost what wasn’t dumped, and my family didn’t know what was what and I was in no shape to say.(I had another stroke 6 weeks later)So it back to what I said before,you can only plan on being old,sick and broke, and you have enough ins that you aren’t shoved in a medicaide warehouse and forgotten.

    • jkh

      Awww, Jim, sorry to hear you lost your precious photos. I keep hearing nightmare stories about movers, and so far I’ve managed to supervise my own moves, more or less.

    • Hi JKH- I was let out of the hosp too erily the first time,(in the name of saving money) and was only partly conscious mostly. Thats why I had another stroke after moving here. Some friends tried to help, and my family too, but they didn’t know anything, and I was too spaced to say.

  20. Beckie

    I have a hard time clearing out young adult books too, even though the book collection definitely needs to be weeded. When it comes to the reads for younger adults, I like to think of it as holding on for the future – my kids, my grandkids – even though it is still going to be many years until I have to worry about reading those books to either of those groups.

  21. Purging is such a cleansing act. Afterwards, I feel tired and kind of spacey-headed but that goes away. As I’m purging stuff, I think of all the people whose lives my things will touch, how my old memories might fill a void in someone else’s misplaced or lost part of their lives. These thoughts ease my “moving on” transition.

  22. I have been cleaning out stuff since October when my hubby passed away. He kept everything, school papers from the 60’s, platform shoes, empty boxes that the TV came in (hey, we might move and then wouldn’t have to pay for a box). It has made me realize that when I eventually go someone will have to do this with mine stuff and a lot of it will get tossed so I am doing it myself. Books have been difficult so I am keeping one box and gave the rest away. Sigh…