Monday, November 3, 2008

A Bookish Disaster

My bedroom has been a disaster for some time. While I would disagree with anyone who were to tell me that I have too many books, I will admit that I have possibly too many for the space that I have. At the same time, adding books to my collections is addicting. There are so many books that I love and wish to have on my bookshelves for my own.

Still, the sorting out must be done. The sorting of books, papers, clothes and a million and one other things. And shoes, oh yes, shoes.

We won’t discuss my penchant for cute shoes.

It’s the sorting of the books that is the hardest. Many of the volumes are dear friends, some old and some new and as I organize I can’t help but stop and say hello to them. Peek into the pages of one and read a snippet here or there. Laugh a little with Lauren of Miss Match and cry a little with the March sisters. Some covers are tattered, the binding so worn that when you open the book, it falls open to one of my favorite sections. Others are new, their covers fresh and pages crisp. Someday those new ones will probably look like their older counterparts – worn from being read over and over and over again.
It’s hard to decide which ones should stay and which ones should go.

And so, I try to develop a system. I ask myself a series of questions:

1) Have I read it?

2) If not, will I ever read it?
If I have the feeling that I won’t ever read it, I put it in the giveaway pile.

If I have read it…

3) Did I like it at all?
If not, why on earth am I keeping it?!

4) Have I read this book multiple times?
If yes, then, there is a good chance that this one is a keeper.

5) Will I ever read it again?
If my reaction is at all, “Probably not” or “Um….” Then it goes in the giveaway pile.

Of course, it isn’t always so clear, cut and dry; there are always exceptions, particularly when it comes to reference books or classic children’s novels. In the end, I have fewer books than I did before, but not by any significant amount. It’s an ongoing process, right? One step at a time.

Although I do have a little free space on my shelves for new books now. Hm…book shopping, anyone? I know some great thrift stores that have a decent selection of used books! And there’s always my favorite place for book browsing: the Book Barn. If you’re a Bibliophile and happen to ever find yourself in Niatic, CT, you will want to make a point of stopping for several hours. It’s a Bibliophile’s paradise!

2 comments:

Valerie November 3, 2008 at 7:09 PM  

I almost never get rid of a book. *wraps arms around bookcase and squeezes*
I've been better at just not buying random books I don't know anything about "Ooooh, pretty cover!!" No, no. I pretty much only get books recommended by friends or some other reliable source. I have to have heard of it before I buy it!

Valerie November 3, 2008 at 7:12 PM  

Arrrg! While reading this article I had an idea for something to write down pop in my head... but I didn't stop to jot it down and now it's gone. *sigh* Someday I'll learn.

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