Which books to keep?

The bookcases in my home office are just about full, now that I’ve taken out the items that belong to my daughter.

I have four dozen books that didn’t make it to my office shelves, but at some point I will have to cull my collection further.

My criteria for whether to keep books and other items are: Do I want them? Do I need them? Do I love them? Will I use them?

But deciding is still difficult, especially when it comes to books. They’re not like vases, or decorative pillows, where what you see is pretty much what you get.

The value of books is often not apparent until you delve into them. I don’t think I’ll regret letting go of the books I’m not keeping. I don’t plan to reread them. I think I’ve absorbed what I need to from them, or they just didn’t speak to me in the first place.

I’ve kept some books that I don’t really want or need, but that may be useful for reference. For now, I have a place for them.

Only one of my books about writing is in the not-keeping pile, even though I haven’t referred to most of them in years.

When it’s time to cull again, I also want to look through my old copies of Writer’s Digest and The Writer, magazines that were very useful to me when I was starting out. They are neatly stored in plastic magazine holders… just in case.




Word nerds

I only came across the term “word nerd” for the first time last week, but it resonated with me immediately, and I thought that, for sure, I qualify.

After looking at a couple of online word nerd quizzes, like this one on grammarly.com, I’m glad I don’t meet all imaginable criteria. I don’t correct pop song lyrics in my head, and I don’t fly into a rage when I see a sign that says “ten items or less.” That said, I do know the difference between “less” and “fewer.”

I didn’t do so well on the Writer’s Digest multiple-choice quiz, either. But I loved its link to this picture.

January 9 was National Word Nerd Day. This article about it pegs me as an “editor.” It says that I’m not just picky – I’m right! I’ll have to remember that line.

I can’t say I’m always right, though. A friend of mine found a mistake I overlooked when I wrote Tuesday’s blog post. Maybe she’s an “editor” too.

As for me, I know it’s picky, but I won’t call someone “a trooper” if I mean “a trouper,” and don’t get me started on the difference between alumnus, alumna, alumni and alumnae.

The thing is, I’m not just picky – I’m right! (Thank you, Mediabistro.)