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What do you do with all those books you've read?

 
 
msolga
 
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 05:47 pm
I'm asking because the subject came up on the book thread, just now...

I mentioned a (sadly, long gone) A2Ker who firmly believed in recycling (for free) once she'd read a book, or had listened to an audio book. I was one of the the fortunate recipients of her generosity, years ago.

I used to hang on to every single book I'd read (or planned to read, sometimes) & it became a HUGE problem. There where books in every nook & cranny of the house I lived in at the time. In every single room, on shelves, piled up on the floor, in the passage ... So when I was planning to move to this (tiny) new home, I really had to offload HEAPS & HEAPS of books. It was rather painful at first, choosing which ones should go took hours of my time ... but once I got into the spirit of the exercise, it became quite liberating! Very Happy

But I still have way too many & I wonder why it's sometimes so hard to off-load all those books which, most likely, I will never read again. Why IS it so hard? Confused

So I'm asking:

What do you usually do with books you've read?

Do you hang onto every single book you've acquired? Why do you do that? Explain. I'm trying to "get" this.

Do you hang onto many books you "plan" to read, when you're in the "right frame of mind", but find yourself wondering if you actually will read them? (I have quite a few of these.)

Why are books we've read (particularly those which we suspect we'll never read again) so precious to (some of) us?

If you've gotten into the off-loading/recycling habit, are there particular books you could never let go of? Which books & why?

Do you have the same attitude to off-loading paperbacks as hardback books?

What's your response to the "read it & pass it on immediately" idea? It has a lot of merit, I think. But still, there are some books I can't bring myself to let go of. Many I haven't actually looked at for years & years ... is there a problem here? Wink

(Finally, are you still buying as many books as you did, say 10 -15 years ago? Just curious.)
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Type: Discussion • Score: 25 • Views: 6,077 • Replies: 119

 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 06:04 pm
@msolga,
I just took a quick look at my bookshelves (& piles! Embarrassed ) ...

One that I absolutely cannot part with is The Collected Poems of E E Cummings 1923 -1954 (Yes, with capital "E"s! Wink )
Someone would have to kill me before I'd give that one up!
Why?: because it would be rather like giving up a bit of my soul, or something ..
It was a gift. Given to me when I was around 18 years old. I've grown up with those poems. I love them.
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 06:08 pm
@msolga,
... but why is there still a copy of We Need To Talk About Kevin? Confused Wink

Will I ever read that again? I don't think so!
Out!
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  3  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 06:11 pm
@msolga,
I donated a lot of mine to the school library and still have tons and tons of books. One bookshelf is here in my pc studio, and another in my bedroom that is huge; fifteen shelves full, msolga

I, too, love e.e. cummings (with two little e's and a little c)

Every time we moved I moved boxes and boxes of books.

When one of the kids from Georgia updated Firefox, I lost all my emoticons among other things. So think "razz"
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 06:14 pm
@Letty,
But why do you think you have 15 shelves full, Letty? Wink Smile

ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 06:16 pm
@msolga,


I'll answer that. Our books had to do with how we thought, or thought against.












Letty
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 06:19 pm
@msolga,
Why? Because I like to look through the books occasionally and try to remember what I have read. Some are school books!
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 06:22 pm
@msolga,
I borrow a lot of books from the New York Public Library so I have to return them or I'll get a collection agency calling me to pay up for stealing the public's books. Surprised

The books I buy? For the most part, I keep them. Don't have too many but I still have a nice collection.

Some of the books I don't intend keeping? I freecycle them.
http://groups.freecycle.org/freecyclenewyorkcity/description

Quote:
It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and thus keeping good stuff out of landfills.


I hate when people flake out on me (when they promise to pick up an item then forget to follow through with the assigned appointment of pickup) so I'm picky who I promise the books to. I read the requests from people who answer my posting and assess whether they're serious about picking the book or item up or not. For the most part, I tend to give the item (mostly books) to the first one who answers my freecycle posting.

Quote:
Do you hang onto many books you "plan" to read, when you're in the "right frame of mind", but find yourself wondering if you actually will read them?


All too frequent!! I do end up buying and borrowing more books thus neglecting the unread books I do have. Crying or Very sad
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 06:22 pm
@ossobuco,
Yes, agreed, osso. Absolutely.
But (feeling like some sort of kill-joy here Wink ) do we hang onto them because we might want to read them again sometime?
Is it a little like keeping them on our shelves because we want to hang onto those ideas?
I'm not sure quite why I do it ... when some haven't actually been taken off the shelves for years & years ...
dyslexia
 
  3  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 06:27 pm
every autumn I collect all the books from the preceding year and burn them in the back yard. the ashes are good for the soil.
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 06:31 pm
@tsarstepan,
I've also found that using the library a lot more for my reading material has helped curb my hoarding affliction, tsar. Wink (Besides, books are very expensive in Oz these days.)

Freecycle sounds a terrific idea! Excellent.

Quote:
I'm picky who I promise the books to..


Me, too. I'll give them to a fiend if the book "mattered" to me, but I doubt I'll read it again.

The Brotherhood (charity second hand bookshops ) receive a lot of my discards. Plus the diabetics Association, which collects from your home! Yay!

I've offloaded heaps of old cookbooks at schools I've worked at. (Then I go off & buy some more! Neutral )

Quote:
All too frequent!! I do end up buying and borrowing more books thus neglecting the unread books I do have. Crying or Very sad


I know! I do that & can't figure out why. Drives me nuts, all those unread books!

msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 06:33 pm
@dyslexia,
You do not!!!

Pull the other leg, dys! Wink
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 06:34 pm
@msolga,
MsO, I've hung on to a few after scurrilous cullings. At this point my books are worth this and that, but I have no energy for selling them, and I should.

My defense is that my books, whether or not I disagree with any of them now, are part of how I became me.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 06:41 pm
@ossobuco,
And fair enough, osso.

Re selling: when I was absolutely forced to offload, before moving into this tiny cottage big enough for a midget, I made a small fortune by selling to quality second-hand book dealers. Mind you, I had to avert my eyes as they rummaged through what I was offering. Sad

But it was back-breaking work, packing all those books into boxes, carting them out to my car, then transporting them from A to B. I understand your reluctance to go through this. It took many trips!
littlek
 
  3  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 06:42 pm
I bring books that don't need to go back to the library, and that I don't think I want to keep around, to the recycling center. There is a large bookcase there where you can leave or take books. I have been known to sell to used book sellers, but not often. Sometimes the books get passed around my family members. Mostly though, I don't get rid of enough books.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 06:53 pm
It is really nice, though, coming across someone's pre-loved offerings when you're wanting a read...
We used to travel regularly to Java & Bali (where books you actually wanted to read were very hard to find, at times. You could only take so many with you in your luggage). So it was great to come across a surprise copy of A Suitable Boy in a cafe in the middle of a Bali rice field, or find a copy of something else interesting in your hotel or homestay room. Rather like finding gold, when you really needed some reading matter during the afternoon "rest" times!
So I got in the habit of passing them on to other travelers, leaving books in rooms or hotel shelves for others to find, too.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 06:57 pm
@littlek,
Quote:
...the recycling center. There is a large bookcase there where you can leave or take books


What a good idea! I wish there was a place in my neighbourhood where we could do that, k. A free book exchange. Smile

Quote:
Mostly though, I don't get rid of enough books.


Yeah. I know. Sigh.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 06:59 pm
@dyslexia,
Quote:
and burn them in the back yard.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeEK!
Crying or Very sad
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 07:00 pm
I've noticed that almost no one has mentioned any particular books, authors, or types of books they've consciously chosen to hang onto. Which would be the very last you'd let go of (if you were forced to offload, like me?
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 07:01 pm
@tsarstepan,
Don't believe him, tsar.

Dys tells big fibs! Laughing
0 Replies
 
 

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