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时间:2014-01-27 16:09 作者:泛扬英语 点击: 123 次

       On recent rainy morning, I planted my hands on my hips and stared down the books. “Okay,” I said. “Some of you have to go!”
       Don’t get me wrong. I love books. My husband loves books. Our kids are growing up to love books.
       After 20 years of living and reading together, we have gathered what some might call a sizable library. One problem: We don’t actually have a library to put the books in.
       Looking at our glass coffee table that day, I strained to actually see the table. It was covered in mounds of books, resembling a crumbling Incan temple. It was time to take action.
       I started in the office, where the literary remains of five university degrees collected dust. Why did we still have textbooks from 25 years ago? I ruthlessly worked my way through the shelves. This was easier than I had anticipated. Feeling good now, I moved on to the family room.
       Where to start? I reached in and grabbed a slim reference book on refinishing hardwood floors. And was transported back to our first house.
       We had bought it as newlyweds. Every room, Plus the stairs, Had blue shag carpeting. We spent each night after work for weeks tearing up carpet to reveal the hardwood floors beneath, then bundling and carting it to the curb.
       I took a deep breath and willed myself to be strong. Our fixer-upper days are behind us now. I slipped the books into the donation box.
       Next came Second-Hand Dog, purchased when we adopted our first shelter mutt 19years ago. I couldn’t resist flipping through the pages, remembering the lessons learned and applied with all the dogs that followed. The latest, a collie-shepherd cross, nuzzled my hand as I stood there. I stroked his head and put the book on the shelf.
       On to the books about expecting a baby, caring for your newborn, using effective discipline one. Into the charity bin,. With a shrug, I retrieved and re-shelved the discipline one.
       Ghost Towns of Ontario? Kept that. We haven’t seen them all yet. Nor have we hiked the entire Bruce Trail, so the binder full of maps had to stay. The coffee table books on the Nahanni and other great Canadian parks? Too gorgeous to let go.
       Running my hands over the spines of the novels, I tilted my head to read the names. All of them so wonderful. Fewer and fewer books were going into the bins.
       Then I turned to another row of books. Gardening. Ambitious youth! I spent winters dreaming of now I plant the tried-and –true geraniums, petunias and dusty miller that I remember from my mother’s farmhouse flower beds. Some other hopeful gardener might benefit from these, I decided.
       And so it went. Working through the volumes, trying to choose what I could stand to part with, I realized the crammed shelves held much more than a collection of books. They told a story.
       Flipping through these cumulative pages, a historian could assemble a pretty accurate picture of our life over the past 20 years. And not just the milestones, but the workaday realities of family life. The stained pages of our recipe books reflect our favourite meals. That dog-eared guide to childhood illnesses got us got us through many sleepless nights.
       翻阅这累累书页,一个历史学家就可以拼凑出一幅相当精确的,关于我们二十多年来生活的图画,不止是那些里程碑的事件,而是家庭生活的平凡现实。食谱书上污迹斑斑的书页反映 我们最爱的菜式。卷了角的儿童疾病指南让我们度过了许多个无眠的夜晚。
       Our books show what we’ve cared about, where we’re visited (or perhaps wished to visit) and the challenges we’re faced. How could I give that away?
At the end of the day, I drove to the donation centre with a few boxes. Our shelves are still chock-a block.
       They’re not expanding as quickly as they used to, since we’ve joined the digital crowd. But I haven’t kicked the real book habit completely and I don’t plan on it. Nothing can replace the feeling of a new book in my hands, or the pleasure of taking an old friend off the shelf to flip through its pages.
       Still, I think about cleaning out the electronic bookshelves of the future. How easy it will be. scanning through lists of text. Delete, delete, in the blink of an eye.
       This might sound efficient to some, but it makes me feel sad.