November 10, 2008

Putting Away Childish Things

I'm kind of a freak (LOL! Yeah, I know you know this!), I do my "Spring cleaning" in the Fall. I was cleaning out my basement a few weeks ago and found my heretic box. This is the box I have that I put all the dissenting Catholic literature I used to own and read and, yes, believe. I put it all in there; in that cardboard box in the basement. Not sure why. Why not just throw it out or give it away? Did I think that once I found Truth, I'd go back to the lies? No. I know, now, that I'm solid.

As a book lover and a librarian, I hate throwing books away. Gosh, it's practically against the librarian code. A book for every reader and all that.

But, I saw this box full of distortions and I could not bring myself to just trek down to a book buyer. I hate the thought of this stuff circulating to the unwise or the poorly Catechised.

I'm all for people reading and expanding their knowledge but conscious of what "well-formed conscience" really means and how I lived without one for so long; I did not want the unsuspecting to get hold of these materials and think they contain the fullness of truth or espouse positions in harmony with Holy Mother Church.

I also did not want this material in my house anymore. After years of it just sitting in my basement, I looked upon it now as a sudden growth of black mold-it needs to go and go now. Even if you can't see the fungus, you can feel it's effects.

In a frenzy, I took them to a friends house and threw them in her fire pit. Yep, I burned them.

I know some of you are screaming. It wasn't easy for me to get around the Bradburyness of it all but I felt compelled to do it.

To the flames went Ruether, Schussler-Fiorenza, Ranke-Heinemann, Daly, Fox, Starhawk, Wills and others. Bye.

I felt like another chain from my past life broke.

I need to surround myself with authenticity these days. ESPECIALLY these days.


Anonymous gette said...

Burn, baby, burn! :-D

November 10, 2008 7:40 PM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

You know...I understand. I'm not a librarian, but I LOVE books and I hate the accusations of "censorship".

But some things are just plain trash. I would not support systematic book burning, as in Nazi Germany, but burning your own? YOU BET!

Last summer I read a book by John Saul, who used to entertain me with his horror books. But this one distorted the Catholic faith (although some Catholics WERE shown in a good light...the distortions were dangerous and misleading), and the horror element literally gave me nightmares. And I can't even get one particular image out of my mind.

I first put the book in my pile of things to go to Half-Price books or some other place...but it continued to bug me. Others will indeed read the book....but not this one. Not my copy. It ends with me. One less copy of it in the world.

It went into the trash...with some other very nasty things. If I had a fire pit, I would have burned it.

So...sistah...I understand!

November 10, 2008 8:15 PM  
Blogger Angela M. said...

You GO Girl!!!!!!

November 10, 2008 8:19 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

I've done that - more than once. I even burned my old albums once - I threw all my Prince albums away! Tore my heart out. Best thing I ever burned? My old journals! (Before and after conversion.)

November 10, 2008 9:32 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

good for you!
I guess I should take comfort in the fact that I've never heard of any of those authors, LOL! :D

November 10, 2008 9:57 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

Sometimes that's the best thing you can do.

A. You won't become an accessory to someone else's dissidence if you gave the books away or sold them.

B. It's unlikely that you could have sold them. I've been slowly selling my collection of books that I have been working on for 40 years.

I just learned the other day when I attempted to sell some pretty nice books that might have been worth 20 or 30 dollars to a dealer that dealers are no longer interested in buying "collectible" books from the public.

If they do think they can sell them, they will offer you two or three dollars at most.

It takes too long (sitting on their shelves) to sell them. What they want are current books that the public wants that will move fast.

The internet sites like abebooks, alibris and biblio (all co-ops) with their millions of books are giving collectors a much large selection, and better prices.

I now sell my collection through (very slowly).

November 10, 2008 10:03 PM  
Anonymous Potamiaena said...

Thank you for this topic. I need to remember that many of us Catholics just don't get it, but maybe some day we will.

I feel bad that we don't understand or appreciate the Almighty, the Church, and the people who give their lives for it.

November 11, 2008 10:07 AM  
Blogger The young fogey said...

A good use for these would be in the library or curriculum of some sound Catholic seminary or lay programme as counter-intel but good for you!

November 11, 2008 11:45 AM  
Blogger Cookie said...

Oh, I have a copy of "On Becoming a Musical, Mystical Bear" (a treatise on how great American spirituality is) in my "burn bag"... I may or may not have stolen the book from the library of the Newman Center here but that's beside the point...

And I'm like you, I don't toss books. But some books are worth tossing... burning is actually BETTER because that way no one goes dumpster diving and loses their soul along with their dignity.

November 11, 2008 1:39 PM  
Blogger Argent said...

I have a pile from my office of music director....Glory and Praise, Young Person's Folk Hymnal...stuff like that.

Maybe I'll use a shredder, so that I can use the scraps for kindling to light our fireplace this winter.

But anyway, were there devilish dancing flames, screeches in the background, "Oh, nooooooooooooooooo!!!"?

And while the books were burning, did you happen to sing, "It only takes a spark to get a fire going...."

November 11, 2008 5:10 PM  
Blogger Fr. Erik Richtsteig said...

Cathy, well done!

Argent, don't forget the marshmallows!

November 11, 2008 5:38 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Everyone: I'm surprised that the comments have been so supportive (I say that now and here will come my haters! LOL!)!

Adoro: I know the Saul book you mean. I read it too. Many years ago.

Argent: Yeah, thanks for that! Now, I'll have that dreck stuck in my head! :-)

Father: Would not the taste of the marshmellows be tainted by such kindling? :-)

November 11, 2008 8:11 PM  
Blogger Vincenzo said...

"Father: Would not the taste of the marshmellows be tainted by such kindling? :-)"

November 12, 2008 6:38 PM  
Blogger ignorant redneck said...

Well, I know where that's at.

"doing the books" after my reversion, with all the occult stuff, etc was hard, as I was raised to despise burning or destroying books!

I should've burned them, I did manage to bring myself to throw some in the trash. But I gave some to people I knew who were still into the crap I was.

Bad decision.

November 12, 2008 6:53 PM  
Blogger Melody K said...

Most of the time I am against torching books, but I agree that there are times when it is irresponsible to simply give them away. So I have several which are gathering dust and taking up space.
And I'm thinking that "torching" is what needs to happen to some works of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky which were given us by my late brother-in-law. Good thing they are impossible to read without getting a headache.

November 12, 2008 7:33 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

As a passionate book lover and a librarian I normally can't bear to trash a book but it this case burning was the perfect solution.

November 16, 2008 8:36 PM  
Blogger Maureen said...

When Spider Robinson used to review science fiction books for Galaxy magazine during the seventies, he famously informed the public of the books he felt were real stinkers, and listed the times when he had used those review copies as fuel for his woodburning stove/heater.

So there's your thrifty and environmentally sound option. :)

November 18, 2008 11:42 AM  

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