Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I just pulled about 200 fiction books off the shelf. I've read every last one of them and they are not great. No one has checked them out in years. Rule of thumb: if the book hasn't been off the shelf since before the 8th graders were born, chances are good it will never be checked out. These books are taking up space. They are books that get in the way of students getting literature that they will like. I don't want to hand them to anyone; when a student picks one up, I feel that they should be dissuaded from checking the book out. Why were these books here? I couldn't give a good answer, so now the books aren't.

What motivated me? Jenny Kimura. 1964. Great book. I love Cavanna, and this is a particularly interesting title, because it is about a Japanese American high school student who is being discriminated against because of the anti-Japanese sentiment prevalent after WWII.

This book had not been off the shelf since 1978. I was in middle school then!

I checked it out to a student. I loved it, so she was willing to read it. I've been able to move Bennet's Junior Miss, too, and it's from 1937!

Do books have expiration dates? No. Are there some books that need to move along. Yes. I feel horrible and relieved all at the same time. The so-so titles from "s" on have been given a reprieve until I can actually read them.

1 comment:

  1. I hear ya!!
    I've weeded hundreds of books this year. (It's my first year at this school). What's really cool is that some of the older, but still good, books have been repackaged (Judy Blume for example), so after weeding I ordered the newer versions with the bright shiny covers & lo and behold, they are moving again.
    But most of the weeded ones really did just expire!