Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Book Dilemma

I'm in the midst of my incredibly belated Spring cleaning (couldn't during the actual Spring as I had too much homework the entire semester long), I've come across a lot of great memories as well as some I'd like to forget. Some things go into a filing cabinet (I love being organized), some go into a shoe box which I will eventually decorate, and others go into the paper shredder. There are a few things I have come across that I can't really put into any of the options... including books.

As a bibliophile, I love that I have more books than I have space for the books. The number of saint biographies, books on vocations, theological books, etc. are even (rapidly) outnumbering the number of non-religious nonfiction and fiction novels and books I have. While I am keeping a number of books that have nothing to do with religion as there are a number of great novels -- i.e. Jane Austen -- that are a great read, I am going to have to get rid of a couple of novels that really do not help at all. The books I'm having the biggest trouble trying to make a decision for are the Twilight series and Princess Diaries series books.

Early last year I sort of reviewed the books (but mostly the first movie) and I had good things to say about them. I still stand by my words of being glad they were pro-life and pro-abstinence at first glance (based on the "ooh, if Edward and Bella can wait until marriage, I can too" mentality from young women)... only, as I read them again, I realized that a) there is way too much Mormon theology embedded in the books and b) the pro-life and pro-abstinence messages aren't really true to what chastity and modesty is. I will eventually do a more thorough review later this month but for now let's say that after examining my conscience, I came to the conclusion that there is no way I can keep these books with peace of mind. Now the dilemma comes in: Do I throw them away, donate them, or do I simply sell them and donate the money to the parish?

On one hand: if I donate them, I help libraries out. If I sell them: my parish gets the money it would need for the simple upkeep of it as I wouldn't want to keep the money. But, in doing either I think I'd be contributing to the moral decay of the youth. Someone called the Twilight books "girl pornography" which, on close examination, is actually pretty dead on. The lustful thoughts and images a reader can get (especially in the last book) is enough to get one to confession on Saturday. It seems like the obvious choice (and became moreso while I was typing this out) would be to throw them away but it isn't so for other books.

I have other fiction novels and series of books that I've collected over the years (notably the Princess Diaries series -- Shhh! lol). Some of the books are pretty inoffensive but as the heroine in the series grows up, it gets into territories where I don't think young women should go. Just to give you a hint as to what I mean: the protagonist says that women must "try on different pairs of pants until she find one that fits" meaning that women must sleep with whomever she's seeing until she finds the man that is most compatible with them. What do I do with these books? Do I donate or sell the earlier books in the series in which the heroine was more innocent or do I simply throw away the entire series (or anything written by the author) due to how the series (or book) ends?

I'm sort of torn so any advice and/or your own points of view are greatly appreciated.

At the moment I'm reading The Shadow of the Bear by Regina Doman. (side note: My little sister, Delaney, lent it to me along with a book on the Four Temperaments (which I will review soon) in exchange for a biography of Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati. Yay for Catholic book pals. lol) So far it's so good I don't want to put it down and it's giving me hope that my own novel that I am still working on (going through editing at the moment) will get the message of our Catholic faith across (though only one of the main characters is Catholic) without sounding too preachy or too stereotypical.

Okay, I need to get back to cleaning so I can get back to The Shadow of the Bear. lol. I hope y'all have a great rest of days. And, again, any and all advice is welcomed. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D


Epiphany said...

I totally agree with you on the Twilight issue. I read the first book and was horrified at the amount of lust it contained. Personally, I would throw them away. As for the Princess Diaries, I would ditch the ones that go against catholic belifs and keep any that are okay.
That's my 2 cents

MJ said...

I'd say drop them off with your local library or sell them. Donate the money. The books aren't truelly evil,and some people are willing to skim through the junk. Throwing them out is a waste....someone out there may need them to improve their reading. Silly I know, but it took Harry Potter for my brother to start reading for enjoyment and Twilight may do the same thing for someone else