Who would do such a thing?
A year or so ago, we finally did a major cull of our books (most of which had been in boxes in a storage unit since Hurricane Katrina). I gave over 300 to a co-worker who was converting her spare room to a library (must be nice); another ten or so bags went to the Friends of the library; a final batch went to the Goodwill. I've been trying to restrict purchases, but when I find a great used book sale or store, I just can't resist having a look around.
I can't do it. I have two storage units and a house full of books, yet I keep buying.
I plan to donated 30 boxes of books to SUNY at Buffalo this summer. Diane says she can't see much of a difference in the basement despite my yearly culling. Like Deb, I'm trying to cut back on purchases. But sometimes I strike it big at a Library Book Sale and then I'm in trouble again.
Hey, sometimes you have to upgrade. And you never know when the urge to read MIDDLEMARCH or THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN or REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST will strike. Do you really want to risk that happening and not having the book on hand? I know I don't.
My current philosophy is to first check the library for books that I don't need to add to our "permanent" collection (for example, I have no desire to own--or ever read again--a copy of GONE GIRL). If I find a used book that I've been wanting to read (but not add to the permanent collection), I'll buy it but donate it once I'm done. Finally, I will purchase classics or books by favorite authors for the collection, even if I don't plan to read them immediately. I have beautiful hard-cover editions of Don Quixote, Gulliver's Travels, Remembrance of Things Past, and others that I got for a dollar at the FotL book sale. I may not be rereading them, but I feel a well-stocked home library should include them.
Just last Saturday, at the FotL, I found the three-volume, slip- covered set of Roberto Bolano's 2666 with its original $30 price tag for $1. Will I ever read it? Debatable. But does it look nice on the shelves? Affirmative.
One simply cannot pass up a deal like that.
I keep the books I like the ones I plan to read or read, the ones that have some kind of value to me and the ones I just want to have on the shelf. Plus, this person had 500 books and got rid of 160. Are you kidding?
When I retired and we consolidated from two homes (I'd been commuting for the previous 5 years--Indianapolis on the weekends, northwest Indiana during the week), we went from nearly 4,000 sq.ft. of apace to about 1,900. Plus my office, which was basically bookshelves. We gave 1,400 or so books to Indy Reads, a non-profit that runs a used bookstore supporting literacy programs in Indianapolis (and got a meaningful tax deduction); most of my professional books--economics--went there, as did a bunch of other stuff (including about 100 cookbooks). Having replaced most of those books (I have a love-hate relationship with ABE), we're going to do another cull this summer. It's hard, but...only the not-so-good stuff--things we won't ever want to re-read, things I've bought intending to read and now have no interest in--will go.Then we have to tackle the CDs...over 3,000 of those suckers (which fortunately don't take up as much space as 3,000 books would.
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