Every spring, my mother would spend a weekend performing the ritual known as spring cleaning. Since she cleaned the house from top to bottom on a weekly basis, it’s not like the place actually needed additional cleaning. During the annual ritual, she would remove the blankets from the beds and launder them, wash and wax the bedroom floors, and wash all of the curtains throughout the house. Needless to say, as a kid, the best place to be during this ritual was anywhere but home less you get pressed into service!
Traditions and rituals are frequently passed down from parent to offspring, so today I began my own version of spring cleaning. With great trepidation, I decided to deal with the accumulation of text books from college and numerous reference manuals I saved upon retirement. As you likely know, used text books are like a broken anchor, suitable only for taking up space in one’s garage. Though they are not quite old enough to qualify as antique, the majority are at least thirty of age and have zero resale value.
I checked with our local recycling company and they would not accept them with the scrap paper. Apparently it’s nearly impossible to separate the binding from the pages during the pulping process. Dumping them in the landfill did not seem appropriate either. So that left me with one option, manually remove the bindings and recycle the pages. With razor knife in hand, I spent of the morning “de-binding” the books and collecting the pages for recycling. What fun!!
There is however one book to which I still have an emotional attachment despite last opening it in 1974. The book is titled Rehder’s Manual of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs and was once considered the Bible of dichotomous keys for plant identification. First published in 1927, it was the standard to which all other identification books were compared. The book is also extremely difficult to use without basic training in classic botany; not a picture in the book.
If you have ever wanted to own a classic, now is the time to act. Email me and for the cost of shipping, I will make it yours. Who knows, it might be of value on those nights when you are having difficulty falling asleep.