From The Guardian:
Too many books: they have to be culled. It’s a cry that echoes through my house every few months, usually when a stalagmite of them topples on somebody’s toe. The last cull involved packing my daughter’s childhood into eight boxes – a melancholy task, cheered only by the willingness of her old primary school to take them, sight unseen, for the Christmas fair. This time, more drastic action was needed. Instead of riffling through the piles on the floor, I decided to work from the top.
Up on the most inaccessible shelf, where the cobwebs join ceiling to wall, was nearly three foot of reclaimable space, aka the collected works of Charles Dickens.
. . . .
So what is the value of the 16-volume edition that somehow found its musty way to me from my grandparents’ flat many years ago? These are books that aspire to be furniture: published in the early 1930s by Hazell, Watson and Viney, they’re the colour of polished mahogany with gilded curlicues that might grace the chambers of the lawyers pursuing Jarndyce v Jarndyce. It’s nice to see the original illustrations, but the text itself is too cramped and faded to be easily readable. These volumes have the lurky-murky smell of books that have lurked too long in the murkier depths of secondhand bookshops.
Link to the rest at The Guardian