Whenever I host Rock & Roll Bookclub I see it as an opportunity to get my books in order. In theory, for every book I put in the case I would take one off to give away or list on Bookmooch. That theory is total bullshit. I am greedy.
However, I am pleased to report that I have a small laundry basket filled with books to give away. I have axed Nick Hornby and Richard Ford from the collection (the former for sucking and the latter for not beguiling me to ever pick it up and read it since I got it 1996). I feel a little odd for dismissing two of Hornby’s novels when I kept High Fidelity. It feels wrong somehow. Jonathan Lethem has not suffered the same fate though he should, because that last book sucked.
And then there’s Jack Kerouac. On the Road is the most overrated piece of bullshit literary critics have foisted on the reading public. And yet, I cannot seem to purge it from my collection. I have no idea why, but even the thought of getting rid of it seemed wrong.
Getting rid of Nell Freudenberger’s short story collection Lucky Girls also seems wrong. I cannot explain this one either. I did not enjoy the collection. In fact, I disliked it so much that when one of her stories is assigned in a writing class I skip it because I know I didn’t like it and why waste my time? And yet, there she is on the shelf between Gina Frangello and Joshua Furst.
Someone ought to come up with some hard fast rules when it comes to keeping or purging books.