We're going through bookcases and boxes of books now, rearranging things and deciding what we can donate to the church garage/rummage/tag sale.
When we moved I had a goal of reducing our numbers of books. We have a lot, which means a lot of boxes to store and move. We don't have space to have all our books out of boxes in this house. Maybe we'll never have a house big enough. So I try to cull.
But as I look at my kids' books, I find I can't part with them. Not because they have such sentimental value, though we did enjoy them; there's not a loser in the bunch. And they are mostly all available at the local library, now. But I no longer have confidence that my as-yet-hypothetical grandchildren will be able to find books like Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, or The Railway Children, or Half Magic or - God forbid - Swallows and Amazons. Because they're old, and well-written... and old, well-written books aren't very popular anymore.
It's not just kids' books. Every now and then I go through the boxes of Sophocles, Homer, Aeschylus, all that old Western Civ stuff, and I think, my kids won't need these! There will be new editions by the time they are ready to read this. Why keep these old books? But now, as Western Civ declines - is scorned - who knows how much these books will be valued in the future?
I just don't have confidence that public libraries as we understand them now will exist in 20 years. Or if they do, if such books will have been determined to be archaic, dispensable, and... not available. And I don't mean not available in old-fashioned paper book form. I mean, gone. I don't have confidence in our government not to decide that certain books that espouse certain old-fashioned values might be better off... disappearing. I don't have confidence in a culture that despises hard work and study and idolizes mindless leisure and entertainment. The people that don't read good books today will be running the libraries and the government and amazon.com soon.
So I'm not getting rid of any of our good books. Actually, I'll probably be buying more.
Do you think I'm wrong?