You can learn a lot about yourself as you sort books into “keep” and “let ‘er go” piles. The keepers can be obvious, like favorite my cookbooks, the classic college textbooks that essentially embody my major (a.k.a. cost more than the car I drove in college), the classics I want share with my children (Calvin & Hobbes collections, an illustrated version of The Hobbit). But there is another category of books that I hang on to for reasons far beyond what lies in black and white. It is the fundamental nature of these books that matter. I want to keep them not so much for the potential life or personality change associated with actually reading them, but for the belief that they act as a good influence on my other books.
My keep pile contains An Introduction to the Rock Forming Minerals (you can quickly deduce that my major was not psychology), Fannie Farmer’s Cookbook and Selections from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.
I’m also hanging on to “Say it in Norwegian”, a pocket sized book with a cover that boasts ‘over 1,200 up-to-date practical entries’. We will be going to Norway, this is perfect! When I was done patting myself on the back for lugging this around all these years, I cracked it open. Just think…if I start now, I could impress my cousin in Oslo when we go for a visit! Of course, I could only revel in my cleverness as long as I overlooked the fact that she and the rest of her friends have spoken my language relatively fluently since they were six years old. (insert the sound of a balloon deflating and flying around the room here) Oh, well, on with the lessons, you have to start somewhere.
Et sapestykke…. A bar of soap. ( Just remember ‘a soap stick’–got it.)
Bilen min sitter fast i solen….. My car is stuck in the mud. (Let’s hope I don’t need that one)
Jer er sjosyk, vaer sa snill og gjor i stand koya mi…. I am seasick, please prepare my berth. (or that one!)
Smorgasbord….. Hors D’oeuvre. (Does that really qualify as a translation?)
Vaer sa vennlig a spille en foxtrott? …..Can you please play a foxtrot?
That last one spurred me to look at the publication date, it was published in 1957. Great, I’m going to sound like a Norwegian Lucille Ball. Wish me luck.
p.s. My husband is not willing to part with “Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Wilderness Survival”. He’s an engineer, so I’ll let you ponder just which category that one falls into…