We live in a pretty small house that doesn’t accommodate more than a few book cases and shelves. During the dissertation-writing process, my books sprawled out onto two flimsy, temporary Target bookshelves in the dining area, accumulated in piles around my computer, and teetered on the teeny shelf behind me. Additional books from my MA and PhD programs were in 2.5 book cases in the bedroom. General interest and fiction books are lined up two rows deep on the only other two shelves in the bedroom. All the other books we own – the majority, I’m embarrassed to say – are in Rubbermaid bins in the street-level garage under the house.
After I completed the PhD, I was able to temporarily shift some of my course books to the bins in the garage, rotate the dissertation books into the bedroom, and give away the Target shelves. I also filled 4 bankers boxes with books we hope to trade in at a used bookstore. But the sobering reality is: we own too many books. And too many of the books we own remain unread, or incompletely read (that is in part because we inherited some – but only in part).
Then there’s the stuff on my Kindle. :-\ If only I actually read as fast as I seem to think I’ll read.
Still, I’ve got some good reading-related plans for LATA. Three friends/colleagues have written books this year, and I’m reading each of them so that I can invite the authors over to the blog for a little “chat.” And I’ve got a couple of book review-essays in the works.
I’ve also got a great Advent Giving Calendar suggestion for today. My friend Rev. Martin Russell helped get this project underway when he was an ELCA synod staff person in Nebraska. The project is called Textbooks for Tanzania. The ratio of students-to-textbooks in the classrooms of Lutheran secondary schools in Tanzania is 10 to 1. In some cases, 40 students share one textbook. For just $10, you can put another textbook in a classroom. That’s a lot of bang for your buck. Want a less Lutheran-centric book-giving opportunity? Check out Books for Africa, which sends library books and textbooks all over the African continent. You can read about their specific regional projects here.
(Well, shoot. I thought I could sneak this post in on the 6th, but it’s 12:10 a.m. on the 7th. Might just have to double-up again today!)