As I pondered my approach to the last book recommendation of the year, I looked over my bookshelf and through the several boxes of books that sit in my bedroom because I didn’t have a shelf to put them on (our house is small and already fits seven people). Many of the books there would have worked, but I wasn’t struck by them so much as I was struck by the books that were missing. Then I remembered when I had gotten rid of them, and I couldn’t help but feel a little sad and a little happy at the same time.
I was thinking of my collection of Studs Terkel books–selections of paperback editions that had been highlighted and underlined here and there, but that for the most part, were surprisingly clean copies for college editions. It isn’t that I didn’t use these books as much as my other texts, but that I chose to use notecards instead of in-copy marks because I wanted to share the books with friends and family.