Monday Challenge: Literary Aspirations

Cardboard Box City

Go ahead. Open them. I fucking dare you. (Photo credit: James Nash (aka Cirrus))

It’s spring again*, so it’s time to spring clean. I’ve been going through all my junk, earmarking piles of it for friends or charity donation**.

A fair amount of the stuff I end up getting rid of at this time of year is books. I read a lot, so I’m always short on shelf space. And there are some books that, while good, I’ll probably only read once. Better to set them free to make someone else’s life more enjoyable.

While I was piling up this year’s donations, I got to thinking about the person who opens up this box of books at the donation centre. That clerk will probably never see me, but they will form some kind of opinion of me based on what they find in the box. Considering it will contain some fantasy novels, a collection of erotica, a Thai cookbook, and a guide on common organic poisons, I would love to know what that opinion is.***

It can’t just be me. Everyone I know who reads a lot, whether or not they write, has an odd jumble of subjects and genres cozied up on their shelves. Hell, all you’d have to do is check my Your Recommendations section on Amazon to see what kind of random shit they think I need based on past orders.**** I hope to Christ that it’s some robot that curates that collection, because otherwise I’m on a watch list somewhere.

So, today’s Monday Challenge: pick ten random books from your collection. Imagine them in a box for donation. Now try and guess what the poor soul who opens that box will think when they open that box and see your eclectic collection of literary detritus. Who will they think you are, based solely on that? Spy novels, video game strategy guides, slightly used copies of Farm Animal Fancier…whatever you’ve got.

And God help that poor clerk.

*For a given value of ‘spring’, anyway.
**Or the heavy garbage collection day, commonly known in these parts as ‘Scavenge Through Your Neighbour’s Trash For Good Shit Day’.
***Possibly that I had a really interesting date planned.
****Just checked this: a lot of graphic novels, Cards Against Humanity, a couple of French grammar books, Electronic Gadgets For The Evil Genius: 28 Build-It-Yourself Projects, and something titled The World of Poo.

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One thought on “Monday Challenge: Literary Aspirations

  1. My random 10, chosen by blind flailing in a dark room:

    Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
    The Poet by Michael Connolly
    Monty Python’s Complete TV Scripts
    Pete’s Dragon
    Aircraft Down
    Never Fight Fair by Orr Kelly
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
    The Valley of the Kings
    Strange Embrace and Other Nightmares
    The Pre-History of the Far Side

    Who would somebody think I was if I dropped them anonymously at the library? Probably the career military Dad of a son recently grown up and gone to college getting rid of the son’s books and a couple of his own too.

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