I’m starting to make some headway on my parent’s books. It is not a speedy process, but it’s gaining a little momentum. Time, healing and reality checks are all coming together to make this so. For instance:

I don’t need to keep the French/English dictionaries that we’re one of mom’s primary author’s, signed by him in 1965. I know that his daughter wouldn’t want them. I don’t speak French, and if I did Google has replaced all translation tasks. The same went for German and Spanish tomes of the same persuasion. I’m keeping the Latin as I have a soft spot for the language.

The three large books on Who’s Who in the Bible went to donation. Why my folks had these is a deep mystery to me. The beautiful leather bound, gilded and boxed Bible earned a spot on the shelf. It is also a mystery as to why they had this volume. Perhaps from my grandparents.

Two large boxes of cookbooks we’re just picked up by a member of the neighborhood Facebook freebie group. Her son is an up and coming chef. Julia Child, while never a plants based chef, can always teach him something about culinary artistry.

I also donated mom’s mushroom guide books that I didn’t keep. She must have had two dozen of them. I hung onto those that held memories and are geographically relevant. It’s doubtful that I’ll harvest wild mushrooms on the east coast.

It’s becoming clear, as I spend more time with the books, that my folks, like I do, were purchasing from the library, garage and estate sales. Not to say that that category of book holds no value, but two Time Life books on cooking, say, seafood and poultry, can be donated without thinking too hard. Same with News Week books on history of a very specific flavor. Old general museum catalogs fell into this category too. Less you think me too ruthless… Permanent exhibits from the 70’s are probably no longer up. Travel guides… Same thing. Antonio’s espresso cart mentioned in the 1983 version of Venice For Art Lovers, is probably not around any longer.

I managed to find shelf space in the back bedroom (a miracle because you can barely walk into the room at the moment) for all the books that mom edited, or are by or about artists they, and I, knew.

What’s left on the shelves suddenly doesn’t feel SO overwhelming, despite being at least 1000 books.

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