Over the past weeks I read two cofessional blogs: Susie Landeau’s confession of being a cybershopping virgin and The Kitchen Slattern’s piece on brining turkey. Now it’s my turn.

I’m a book horder. I have boxes of books that I’ve bought packed away in the front room. I’ve maybe read them all, I don’t know. But I’m pretty sure I put a good sized dent into the pile. At its best, the pile is a view into the inside of my brain. I say that about the living room. The books are a testement to the wandering nature of my brain. It bops along going from subject to subject trying to learn. There’s a large collection of cartoon books, compilations of various strips that I like. There’s books of a practical nature, like How To Survive a Zombie Invasion. Humor is well represented as is history. I’ve read a lot of books and they stick with me. The problem I have is getting rid of them. I tried the now defunct used book store but all they wanted was paperbacks and popular fiction. Nobody wants books about the Civil War or the origins of the Fantastic Four. People who see the collection ask why I just don’t get rid of them. It’s not that easy. As I said above the obvious outlets are hard to find. I’ve considered Amazon but going through all of the books and listing them seems like a huge job. what I’m looking for is someone to take boxes of them, sight unseen, and enjoying them. I know it would be quite a surprise for somebody to get a rickety box weighing about seventy pounds on their doorstep.

I can trace my hording to a misunderstanding with the local public library. They accused me of not returning three books. I know I did. they won’t let me take out books until I return the books I know I returned. thus I was forced to prowl Borders, Barnes and Noble and any bookstore that I come across. Then there’s the book clubs. I’ve been able to reject selections because I’m  not interested. Someday they’ll send selections I can’t resist. I’ve got a Nook and a slew of audiobooks. They’re good for night reading and are easy to bookmark. Print books are something ingrained in me. My mother bought me Catholic books that contained parables that young kids could understand. A sidenote; UPS just delivered a package from Amazon. It contained A Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowlings, Help, Thanks, Wow by Anne Lamott and Going Out In Style by the Dropkick Murphys. So much for restraint. I read ahead of my grade and spent time in the library. By sixth grade I was able to take out books from the adult section after the librarian checked them out for unsuitable content. I read class texts before class began. I read the freakin’ encyclopedia. I still got mediocre grades. school bored me. And I looked for the story behind the story, kinda like Paul Harvey. I made it out of High School barely by the skin of my teeth. I couldn’t get into college so I joined the military. There were libraries on every base I was on. The selection was limited by the fact Uncle Sam was in charge but I got a chance to read On Guerilla Warfare by General Giap. After the service I got into college. College libraries tend to have books of an academic nature and not a lot of fiction. I found more book stores. The Book Exchange became a lending library for me. I brought books in, got credit and took books out. the owners were carry-over hippies who were happy to get the business. Like I said they’re all gone except a few hidden in cities and towns that take an hour to find and ten minutes to go through.

What to do? Buy a pile of boxes from Staples and drop them off every other week at the public library? Go to Amazon? Keep them until I drop dead and leave the problem for whomever is left behind? All are atrtractive options. It’ll take some research to find the best way. Probably a bit of all of them.

A recipe:

You’ll need:

1 pkg shredded home fry potatoes

1/4 lb bacon, cut into small pieces

2 1/2 C shredded cheddar

3 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet, I use cast iron, brown bacon. Drain bacon on paper towel, pour off fat. In a bowl combine potatoes, 2C cheddar, bacon and eggs. Use bacon fat to lube baking pan. Again I use a 12 inch cast iron skillet. Pack it potato mixture. Cover with remaining 1/2 C of cheddar. Bake 15 to 20 mins. Remove and let set up.

You can use ham instead of bacon or add peppers and onions with the ham.

See you Wednesday.