Mourning the Weeding of Books

This week on my day job, I have the unfortunate task of weeding books. I always find this particular duty dreary. It can be monotonous, but even more so, it is a reminder of how fleeting life is. Books that used to be educational and relevant are now obsolete—at least in the eyes of someone.


It makes me think of my own books. They are new and shiny and sitting majestically on one of our shelves, destined one day to be thrown away—like yesterday’s news. It causes an author to mourn.

I don’t like tossing out the words and thoughts of another author. I know the pain-staking time that goes into writing a book. It’s sad to say good-bye, even to those I’ve never opened to read.

Yet, I am reminded of the words Jesus speaks in Matthew 6:19-21:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

So, we move on, knowing the ideas in the pages of these books live on somewhere.

I’ve often wondered if we will read in heaven. Maybe we won’t have the need. What more can be learned when you are face-to-face with the Creator of the Universe? What other stories need to be told when you look on the face of God?

Yet, I can’t help thinking (or hoping), as Jorge Luis Borges says, “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”

A library with no weeding, of course.