Saturday, February 4, 2012
A blessing or a millstone?
The assignment created quite a lot of stress in our household. Did the teacher of these grade 3 students really mean all the books?
Perhaps we'd misunderstood and what she really meant was all the books in one room, in one petite bookshelf. That would be reasonable! But all of them! Did she mean my son to include the ones teetering dangerously on the floor by the beds ready to succumb to gravity, those on the shelves in the toilet, as well as the ones secreted away in the wardrobes? Oh what a daunting task for a child (and parent).
We set to, if not with enthusiasm, at least with curiosity ... for a while ... at 500 we'd barely got through one modest bookcase of current titles. At 1000 we gave up. It was an overwhelming task. Sneezing took over the household as books, some long forgotten, but loved nonetheless, were un-wedged and opened, producing clouds of dust and unsettling the occasional silverfish which was promptly squashed.
Some are works of art in themselves, with leather covers and wafer thin pages. They are a window into the past when the writing was flowery and long winded. They echo a slower pace of life which relaxes into the rhythm of our old clock - tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.
Some of the thousands that have gone to fetes and op-shops might have been a bad decision, but the quantity was overwhelming. But I often wonder what happened to the stacks of "Popular Science" and "Popular Mechanics" I'm sure I could have made space for them ;)
So, the question is, should they stay, or should they go?