Welcome (back?) Jon Swift

While I don’t generally follow the blogs of conservatives, there are exceptions. The latest is the addition of Jon Swift’s blog to the blogroll.

Although I’d come across it before, the addition stems largely because Jon e-mailed and reminded me I had not mentioned a recent news item. Specifically, libraries in Fairfax County, Virginia, are tossing out classic books to make room for more best sellers. While culling is necessary to any library (a process I went through during the holidays), there’s a big difference between removing things from the shelves and discarding them. I at least take mine to the used book store or donate them to the library for its collection or its annual book sale, whichever it deems appopriate.

And while my illiterati status makes me perhaps the last to be in a position to defend all sorts of “classics,” they’re called classics for a reason. I’ve said enough, and since I doubt I can top Jon’s inimitable style, I refer you to his post. And perhaps I don’t need to mention it, but at least a bit of knowledge of classic literature may be necessary to fully understand Jon’s position on the issue.

May you live all the days of your life.

Jonathan Swift, Polite Conversation

1 comment to Welcome (back?) Jon Swift

  • The Washington Post has screwed this up a bit by confusing a “title” with a “copy” Believe me, libraries are not dumping “To Kill a Mockingbird”, or the other titles that are so ominously listed. Libraries are simply weeding out individual copies of that title; copies that are often stained, torn and/or falling apart at the seams.

    Searching the Fairfax Library catalog ( I count 62 print copies of “To Kill a Mockingbird”, and that probably doesn’t include countless paperback copies that often aren’t cataloged.

    easier to find the new ones!)
    As for your concern that books are winding up in the trash: Libraries generally do not put weeded copies in the trash unless the books are in very bad condition. Often weeded copies that are still in ok condition are put into a library book sale to raise money for the Friends group; sometimes the titles are simple donated to charity.

    So take a deep breath library lovers. You local library is not weeding the great titles, just the tattered copies. Another note on weeding: Every time I’ve ever done significant weeding in a library the customers’ invariably comment, “Gee, you got so many new books…” (getting rid of all the old, dirty, falling-apart books makes it