As I mentioned in Friday’s post, we recently went through a “Marie Kondo-ish” exercise at work. According to the posters on the bulletin board, shredding unnecessary paperwork and clearing the detritus off our desktops was all we needed to do to be happier, more productive, calmer little worker bees.
Uh, sure. Right.
I’m fairly tidy, so the exercise was a moot point for me, but some co-workers managed to shed an amazing quantity of stuff. So much that it was hard to imagine how they had fit it all in their tiny cubes and offices to begin with. The jury is still out on whether they are indeed happier, more productive, and calmer.
We have a number of Marie Kondo followers at work who have gone through their homes asking “does this bring me joy” for each item there and ruthlessly weeding out anything that doesn’t generate an immediate “yes” answer. They seem happy and the thrift stores that get all of their donations are no doubt happy as well, so it’s a win for everyone.
When one friend told me she was turning her sights on her bookshelves however, I gasped in horror.
Get rid of books?
Who does that?
excuse explanation was that she did most of her reading electronically and was eventually going to be moving and didn’t want to have to schlep books from place to place. I guess I can see her point. I remember moving at some point during my college years in a pick-up truck that had a some clothes, some kitchen items, a rocking chair, and boxes and boxes and boxes of books. As you may have guessed, the answer to “does this bring me joy” for books has always been a resounding “yes”.
I have a wide range of books in my home library – from things I read back in high-school English class to current fiction novels to random reference books – I’m never at a loss for something to read. Many of the books were favorites years ago, like the set of books by Phyllis Whitney, and I’ve kept them thinking I’d like to read them again some day.
That brings me to the actual point of this post.
The other day, a friend mentioned how disappointing it was when he re-read a favorite series and found it sadly lacking.
“the pontificating seems incredibly old-man-yelling-at-a-cloud and the homophobia is just horrifying”
I have to wonder if I’d find re-reading some of my old favorites equally disappointing. I know I hit that problem with some romances from a few decades back that read as too rapey in this day and age, and I’m a big fan of Amanda Quick, but there are a few of her earlier Regency titles that veer a little to close to that “you said ‘no’ but I know you meant ‘yes'” line to re-read again, though in some cases it’s limited enough that I can skip/ignore those bits when I re-read.
Other books, I’m not so sure about. I wonder about those old Phyllis Whitney stories that I loved way back when. Would they hold up or would I wonder at what my younger-self ever saw in them? I suppose I could re-read one of them just to check, but I’d be quite disappointed to find it lacking. Perhaps I’ll just hold onto my fond memories and leave the books up there on the shelf.
So, how about you? Have you re-read any favorite books that didn’t stand the test of time? If so, what was it that didn’t work for you?