Jonathan Richie BW.tif

One of the great pleasures in life is accomplishing something. But do you know what is even better than that?

Accomplishing something while throwing a bunch of junk out. It just so happens consolidating junk is one of my specialties.

I am one of those people that has to be in a particular mood to clean. For example, I will let all my dishes get dirty and pile up until I am eating my cereal in the last Tupperware container. However, after I do eventually wash dishes I will continue to wash the counter, kitchen table and stovetop. After that, all the carpet in my apartment will be vacuumed. Anything that is laying on the floor and can go in the washing machine is thrown in there and I reorganize a bunch of things like where my wallet and keys are.

And I’ll sweep the kitchen, bathroom and garage floors.

Then I usually take a nap and wake up about four hours later and cannot find my wallet and keys.

So, I was in one of those moods a while ago and let me tell you – I threw a lot of useless things out.

It was enough crap to fill two of those huge thirty-gallon trash bags designed for yard waste. But following my purge of uselessness I had a stack of books I realized I don’t want anymore.

I call these “smart books.” I would go to thrift shops and second-hand stores and buy the classics like Don Quixote and Faust. That way if an intellectual lady would happen to notice me and think, “He looks smart, reading a real book. Oh, and is that Hemmingway?”

(It happened a few times. Well, maybe twice and they were both much older than me.)

Honestly, I didn’t read them all, but I certainly thought it was a good idea to spend a dollar for Atlas Shrugged in 2007.

Some of the books I chose because they had 900-some pages. I would just open the book up to a random page and look interested. I think I read The Count Of Monte Cristo for all of the ninth grade.

There were a lot of kids to feel the need to impress in a high school class of over 400 kids.

It was all about optics for this pudgy freshman.

So, now I have a stack of books at home that I would like to get rid of. Naturally, I will be donating them somewhere and not putting them in a 30-gallon yard waste bag. But I did notice that one of the books was missing a bunch of pages and I won’t be donating that because I don’t think someone wants to read 86% of Treasure Island.

Narrator: It was then they realized this entire column was just a public service announcement to remind people to check things over before donating.

Don’t worry about Treasure Island, I’ll hollow it out and use it to hide stuff.

Jonathan Richie is the editor of the Burnett County Sentinel.