As work continues on the boat, the bookshelves have been sorted this week. Mildew has attacked some of them especially the older ones with cardboard covers. There has been a general cull with several thrown away as just too dog-eared or missing pages. I have also taken out the books they have grown out of. A large pile of these have gone for re-homing.
These books were actually quite hard for me to get rid of. They were not just stories anymore. They were sunny days lying under the tree in the garden, passing time in hospital waiting rooms, evenings cuddled up with children still damp from the bath. There were small ones that fitted in my handbag, and thick ones which would be dragged out on rainy days. They have become memories, sentimental beyond the words on the page. We can (and often do!) quote huge chunks of Dr Seuss or Julia Donaldson. They built our boys love of stories and helped them learn to read.They provided constancy and familiarity in a new harbour or in the middle of the
It was hard to part with them but it was time to pass them on. There is now more room on the shelves for the Michael Murpurgo, Arthur Ransom, Dick King Smith and Phillip Pullman books they are currently into. I like to think though that deckhands on other boats will now be laughing at the antics of Stick man, the Gruffalo, the fox in socks, the cat in the hat and others.