Doris Lessing’s Nobel acceptance speech was mentioned twice to me yesterday before I had time to read it. Call me a cynic, but I generally don’t expect much from these things, but this time I really felt inspired. It was well written (not surprisingly), easy to read and on such a very important subject.
Having moaned quite recently here about having too many books, and what on earth I can do about it, I feel thoroughly ashamed. Oxfam has been the intended recipient, for when I can actually decide what to keep and what can go. But now I wonder if this is good enough.
Not all my surplus would be suitable for the readers in Zimbabwe that Doris Lessing wrote about, but a lot of it would be fine. How can I get my books to somewhere like that, without doing silly things like getting on a plane with suitcases full of books?
Coincidentally, just two days ago Daughter was bemoaning the disappearance of Dickens from the school library. Not that she wants to read Dickens you understand (for GCSE they read two chapters of Great Expectations…), but as a book lover she felt that dumping a shelf full of fresh new hardback Dickens was wrong. The official reason is that the books hadn’t been taken out by students. From my own time as a volunteer in that library I suspect that the books were simply dumped. They can’t be recycled as paper, and for some reason the school can’t take them to a charity shop.
It makes me want to cry.