I have been on a mission of late to "clean off" my bookshelves. If I just got rid of the ones I've actually READ I'd still have hundreds. So, some I posted on paperbackswap and bookmooch, others I have taken to Books Galore for credit (for more books, I know, I know........). A few I've given to my church for their library.
But I always have some I want to keep - usually a whole set of something. Like the Anne of Green Gables books, or Little House, or all the James Herriott novels. I like to collect some, like Pearl S. Buck novels.
And then there are the Diana Gabaldon books.
Confession time here. They are great, fabulous, engaging stories of time travel and romance. I started reading them a few years ago when I was introduced to them on the Sonlight Forums (Christian homeschool curriculum). I mean, these are the sort of books where you start reading (most are at least 700 pages) and you don't stop until you are done and you feed your family frozen pizza that week.
One problem. They are dirty. Bordering on pornographic in some parts. They are small parts, but there you go.
In the past, I have been convicted on things I have watched on tv, and I quit. When Friends got to be too much, it went off. We started off watching The Sopranos but that did not last long. I used to read lots of gory murder mysteries (Kiss the Girls, Kay Scarpetta, etc.)but reached a point where I could no longer read them. I have been very careful about what my boys read - even more than what they see on tv - because I remember books I read (when Mom wasn't looking) in junior high and younger, and those images have stayed with me all my life. You can go back and read the same page over and over, you know.
So anyway, by the time I got to high school I was pretty much done with the bodice-rippers historical romance stuff. And I haven't read much of it since. Just not interested.
But then you get to Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon. And I want to scream that it is SUCH a good story - WHY did she have to make it so smutty! And all these other Christian women are reading them, and discussing them. Joke - I asked one woman online how come we can read and talk about these books when we would NEVER recommend (or even mention them) to a lady at church? And she said it is because we don't have to see each other on Sunday morning.
Wow. Okay, this conversation was two years ago, and then I laughed. And now I am like......wow. How true. It is because we have no accountability.
Now, I am not such a prude that I will not read a book because it has some profanity. Life has some profanity. Sometimes reality is ugly and hard, and some of the great books have that. I can overlook some things for a really good story. Things that I don't think affect me. Hey, I've heard cussing before, reading some of it is not going to be an issue.
I haven't read the Diana Gabaldon books in a few years. They are just sitting on my shelf. I thought I'd read them again when the next one comes out. But they are on the top shelf of my bookcase, where the aren't bothering anyone. My mind right now is likening them to scorpions. We live in a very rocky area, and we get little (someimes big!) scorpions in the house, just like some folks get spiders. They hide, and generally, unless you turn on a light suddenly, or stick your hand somewhere without looking, you don't have to worry. Like shaking your shoes before you put them on if they've been left outside. You know. So, are those books, up on the shelf, sort of like scorpions?
The other night, my mind went to them, and suddenly a heard in my head (God?) saying, "If you consider those books to be pornographic, why do you have them in your house?"
Well, I really don't have a good answer for that, do I?
They are not on the shelf anymore. I listed them on paperbackswap and they got snapped up right away. So I've now spent about $15 on postage (I'm telling you, these are some THICK books!) to send them away. But, now I have credit to select new books.
So, I know this time of year, after we get all our Christmas goodies, and we are trying to make room for things, and we are stuck in the house, a lot of us turn to "de-cluttering". Especially we homeschoolers, who are in a rut and really looking forward to the NEW stuff we'll be getting at homeschool conferences this summer! But as we think about the things to get rid of, maybe there are other questions besides, "Do I use it - need it?" Maybe sometimes we should look at things as in, "What does God want me to have?"
Just some thoughts.