Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Book dumping

The other day I took a serious look at my TBR (to be read) shelves. Yeah, you read that right--shelves. I’m an addicted reader with a serious book habit and fickle tastes. Or maybe just evolving--books and me go way back. To the days of reading forbidden books, like Gone With The Wind by flashlight under the bedcovers. Over the years, what impresses me has changed several times.

Because I read a lot, print titles pile up, despite using the library. They don’t stock everything. Plus there’s the comfort factor of having a nice stash of books on hand. Barnes and Noble stays open till eleven in my neighborhood and I have made late night runs, due to a reading emergency. Emergency defined as not owning the next book in a series when I’d just finished the last one and had an hour till bedtime.

Writing my own stories has curtailed the read habit but not cured it. In fact, it has led to a new problem for the first few years of writing I continued to acquire books at the old pace while my reading time decreased dramatically. This led to the groaning shelves where there used to be a manageable stack.

So yesterday I culled. There’s no resale market--I checked. There was no interest in these titles even on the free book exchange list. The books went into the recycle bin. To discard a book, even a mediocre title with no viable market seems like a sacrilege. Then I read about the mass dumping of books here Strangely, it made me feel better. It’s not just me.


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