The New York Times on Sunday, June 3, ran a story in the National Report section that caught my eye. Entitled "A Requiem for Reading in a Smoldering Pyre of Books," it concerned two bookstore owners in Kansas City, Missouri, who resorted to burning books they had in storage because they got tired of dealing with the "Sisyphean" situation and did not know what else to do with them. The burning was meant to be as well a "cultural statement about the decline of literary reading in the United States." The two men had tried to give away books in bulk, without success. Mysteriously, the state correctional system refused to take donations of books. "When they donated books to a local fund-raising event, some well-meaning person bought up most of those books and left them" on the bookstore's doorstep. The dilemma the bookstore owners faced was that "books are just things, paper bricks of commerce taking up room. But they are also holy vessels, containing the written articulation of our experiences and dreams, allowing us to point to an arrangement of words and exclaim: 'Yes! That's it exactly!'" I'm sure every librarian has felt this tension when we weed our collections, whether at work or at home. Space is finite, and weeding is a necessary activity, but it is hard to throw books away. I think it's good that we agonize about getting rid of books. We shouldn't take it casually.