Saturday, May 12, 2012

To Kill a Mockingbird, My English Teacher, and Terry Pratchett

“Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.” ― Terry Pratchett

My English teacher has a lot of quirks when it comes to books (which is probably in the job description, but bear with me). For instance, she cannot go into a book store without buying a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird, and then giving it to either a student or a random person she thinks should have it. She worships that book, and would marry Atticus in a heartbeat if she was single and had the opportunity.

She also never keeps novels. She reads them, sure, but after she's finished, she gives them away.

I was thinking about that today, and how I own about 300 books, most of which are novels. Why am I hanging onto them, when almost everything I read is from the library or my book club?

Some of them I just haven't read yet.
Some of them are gifts from my grandma, and you can't really just give away a book if my grandma gives it to you. She's just that kind of person.
Some of them are ARCs, so it's harder to give them away.
Some of them are things me/my sisters have/will need for school.
Some of them I want to reread at some point, or save for my eventual children.
Some of them I just need to own. Need. My English teacher is not a fan of Harry Potter (and in telling us this she referred to it as science fiction-- I about exploded), so she apparently does not run into this problem. I am mentally incapable of giving away my copies.

And then there are the rest--about 30--which I took to the used book store today. I felt immensely satisfied.

...And then I promptly spent all of the resulting store credit (plus some) on a copy of every Terry Pratchett book they had.

Funny thing: I'm looking at Goodreads' list of Terry Pratchett quotes (because I haven't actually read anything by him yet-- he's just next on the list), and I found this:
“If you have enough book space, I don't want to talk to you.” ― Terry Pratchett


  1. To continue an earlier conversation, um... yes! Elizabeth Haydon had better be writing more books because that was not a conclusion! In case you cannot tell, I finished The Assassin King about 5 minutes ago. What is it with authors of epic fantasy and not knowing how to end a story?

    Anyway, I don't simply transplant our previous conversation here on a deranged whim, not that this is something I wouldn't do, but because it relates to the above post. My books are my dragon's treasure; their presence comforts me, I love searching through assorted piles of books for the precise on I desire, even if I do not find it, and I even like to sleep with them strewn around me.

    1. It's been 6 years since Assassin King came out. I have no idea what she's doing.

      That's the thing I forgot to mention here-- I really like being surrounded by loads of books. There's just less point to it than I like to tell myself, and if I'm going to deprive the used book store of all of their Terry Pratchett, I should at least give something back. xD

    2. Meh, George R. R. Martin has done worse. Six years between books is extreme, but not unheard of... sadly...

      If I didn't want to own a book I'd get it from a library.

  2. I love Terry Pratchett!

    (Also, I have over 250 books. I should really give some away.)

  3. I haven't counted mine, but already my main set of shelves is full. I occasionally sell/donate them, but I agree about Harry Potter and a select other few. Just unthinkable!

    Eventually I might give away some of my longer serial books (i.e. The Dark Tower) or just huge single volumes (The Count of Monte Cristo, etc.) as I probably won't read them over and over unless they're REALLY worth it. Another reason similar to ARC books in terms of donation difficulty would be former library books. Mainly those bought at the fairgrounds in the spring.

    But also some of them I want to keep until I read, as it were. Glad to see you think similarly!


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