It’s time for Booking Through Thursday — and it’s quite an ugly, dark, rainy one here in Maryland. Hope others have more sunshine than I’ve seen lately!
This week’s question:
When’s the last time you weeded out your library? Do you regularly keep it pared down to your reading essentials? Or does it blossom into something out of control the minute you turn your back, like a garden after a Spring rain?
Or do you simply not get rid of books? At all? (This would have described me for most of my life, by the way.)
And– when you DO weed out books from your collection (assuming that you do) …what do you do with them? Throw them away (gasp)? Donate them to a charity or used bookstore? SELL them to a used bookstore? Trade them on Paperback Book Swap or some other exchange program?
As soon as I finish a book, I have a decision to make: am I keeping this novel and thereby giving it a place of honor on my (limited) bookshelves, or am I passing it along to the next lucky soul? I “weed out” my library quite reguarly, because I don’t just put books back when I finish reading them. But the only problem with that?
Books just keep arriving.
Now, I said that sort of impassively . . . what I mean, of course, is that I keep getting books and I keep filling up my bookshelves! Yes, this is entirely my problem. Whether I’m buying them on Amazon or The Book Depository, winning them (yay!), getting them from publishers, stocking up on them at Borders or Books-A-Million or Mooching those suckers, books just flood into my house in a never-ending stream. Usually on a daily basis.
I’ve tried putting myself on a “book diet,” of course. I’ve made abstract promises not to buy any books new until I’ve emptied out at least one of my bookshelves (ha!); I’ve forced myself not to sign up to win books from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program, or declined books from publicists and publishers, knowing I won’t be able to get to the novel anytime soon. But has any of this helped me?
My once-gorgeous (and spacious!) bookcase, set up in June, now looks like a volcano has exploded atop it, spewing romance and mystery and young adult all over its white shelves. I’m getting to the point where I’m double- (and triple-) stacking my shelves, which I hate. That’s a leftover from my days working at Borders! I can’t stand disorderly, messy, falling-over books! And what do I have?
Disorderly, messy, falling-over books.
So I need to get more serious about the “weeding out” process . . . and when I do, my books go to a variety of places! First and foremost, my sister has dibs. Anything I know she’ll like immediately gets pitched to her, where it usually remains on a dusty bookshelf until she has time to grab it — or I threaten her with retaliation if she doesn’t read the awesome book soon. (Hey, she’s a busy college student — I remember those days.)
If Kate isn’t interested, I ask myself a few more questions . . . is the book still in great shape? Could I give it away on this here blog? Did I enjoy it enough to sponsor it in a giveaway, or do I just want the stupid thing out of my sight long before then? If the answer is “get that book out now” or I just don’t think it’s in a condition to be passed along in a contest, it goes on BookMooch. And if not, I might mail it to a lucky reader/contest entrant or donate it to my local library system, which sponsors awesome Saturday book sales. Give back and get a little back, right?