“在长话中说”译为told me over the long-distance，其中the long-distance即the long-distance phone call。
“大意谓”译为something to the effect that，其中to the effect作“大意是”、“意思是”解。
“也是一个小小的书城”可按“加起来也为数可观”之意译为add up to quite a number，其中add up是成语，作“加起来共计”解。
“焚书的年代”可译为the age of book-burning，现译为the age of obscurantism，意思相同，obscurantism原意是“蒙昧”。
“待读又不可不读的书”译为books for required reading that have not yet been read，其中required作“必须的”解。
“论斤卖掉当纸浆”未按字面直译为by selling them off by the jin as paper pulp，现译为by selling them off cheap as waste paper bound for the pulp mill，其中用cheap替代by the jin，用as waste paper bound for the pulp mill替代as paper pulp，有助理解。
Random Thoughts on Giving Away Books
◎ He Wei
The idea of giving away one’s books sounds rather puzzling at first. The other day, my friend Jing Hua told me over the long-distance that some of his elderly colleagues were giving away or considering giving away the books they owned and that he himself was doing the same. The idea originated with a venerable old veteran writer, who said something to the effect that youth is the time for collecting books and old age for giving away books. Yes, getting on in years, one needs to ponder over the question of how to deal with certain things in life.
In recent years, I, too, have often turned over in my mind the question of books though, in fact, my so-called private library is not worth mentioning. Nevertheless, it has kept accumulating in the scores of years of my literary career. Now, piled up in a jumble here and there in my house, they add up to quite a large number though.
Years ago, when I was transferred to a new post in Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian Province, the removal of my books gave me a big headache. During the several years when I was in that city, my books were lucky enough to survive the disaster of the so-called“Cultural Revolution.”But, when I was sent to do manual labour in the remote mountains of northern Fujian, all the books had to go with me by truck, which plunged me into a world of trouble. Two years later, when I was suddenly transferred back to Fuzhou, the books had to be loaded on a truck again for a long ride over mountains and rivers, exposing themselves to the dew drops of the mountain area and inhaling the aroma of green grass. It was not until many years later that the books, then packed in boxes, were at last transported back to Shanghai, the place where I had originally come from. I owe the safety of my books to the efforts of my second son, who is physically strong and bright and clever. Books that have survived the age of obscurantism are without doubt an invaluable asset.
All my old books are my life-long companions. The longer the companionship, the more profound my attachment for them. Generally speaking, there are three kinds of books in my private collection, namely, books for required reading that have not yet been read, books for optional reading and books unworthy of reading. Books of the last kind can be disposed of easily, that is, by selling them off cheap as waste paper bound for the pulp mill. The second kind of books are most difficult to handle. I generally give a glance into them before making a difficult decision on whether to keep them or not. Books are emotional and always reluctant to part from me. And sometimes, in a fit of impatience, I will even feel like resolutely doing away with them all at once. As I said in my young days, books are most faithful and will never betray you so long as you don’t abandon them. Oh, my books!
Books of the first kind consist of many autographed copies of works by my literary friends and miscellaneous favorite books of mine as well as de luxe editions of literary classics. They are to be kept intact by all means. But, as there is a limit to human life, the future of these books is unknown.
It is high time for me to give away my collected books. But it is beyond my power to do the toilsome labour of sorting out piles upon piles of books and then doing all the wrapping, packing and mailing. Fortunately, there are few things of much worth among piles of my musty old books. So I might as well take it easy.