My shelf runneth over

Bouffant_barbie_1_4       From Loretta:
      
      This will be short because today is my Saturday to go with my sisters to the gifted Isaac and get my hair made gorgeous and then have lunch and go shopping.
      Luckily a topic is near at hand, in the form of tottering stacks of books.
      I’m nesting, a sure sign of About-To-Start-a-New-Book.  A reorganization of my office.  An annual event that never quite gets completed before I find myself immersed in the dubious joys of Outlining the New Book.
      This week, I’ve had to deal with the bookshelves.
      Chicago_manual After the last copy edit, I broke down and bought a Chicago Manual of Style, completely forgetting I already had one.  But that was in another place.  And besides, the wench is–oops, wrong drama.  It was in another place and besides, that was the 14th edition, and we are now up to the 15th.  So the 15th came in…along with some other books–I can’t help myself–and there are some more on the way, including a fresh Fowler or two to replace mine that are turning brown and crumbly.  So I had to take a hard look at the “usage” shelf and de-accession.  A nice, clinical sounding word for a wrenching experience.  A wrenching Wench experience.  Sorry.  Not really.  Words are my life.  Including dumb words.
      So books are my life, too. 
      There are too many.  The reference books, for instance.  Space is limited.  And so some have to go.  More than do go, undoubtedly.
      There are reference books on my shelves I haven’t opened since the day they entered the house.  Some I’ve skimmed.  If I limited the books to the ones I use repeatedly, one bookshelf would probably do it for me.  But you never know when that umpteenth picture book of English country houses is the one that will solve your locale problems or help you work out the logistics of the crucial scene where the heroine solves the mystery of her father’s disappearance but accidentally causes a series of events ending in the hero falling out of a window and breaking his leg, putting him in danger of a fatal infection or possible amputation… which means I’m really going to need those six books on surgery, along with the various tomes on anatomy.Skeleton
      I could Google it but you know what?  Google doesn’t always answer the questions or else that’s all it does:  answer the one question.  Thumbing through a book gives one ideas.  Besides, there’s the feel of a book in one’s hands.  And yes, I’m an old-fashioned girl.  Not always, but mostly.
      The Usage Shelf was filled in the usual proper manner, but then I was putting books on top of the books, which is a grievous form of book abuse.  So I moved a bunch of grammar books down to the room where I lost the 14th edition of the Chicago Manual, to make room for the 15th edition and the shiny new usage books.
      Then there are the shelves of British history, general and specific.  This includes some handsome, huge volumes that I have rarely consulted because they are in dictionary form, and my research mind doesn’t work that way.  Like Pat (it was you, Pat, wasn’t it?) I loathe the dictionary-style thesaurus.  I’ll use my MS Word Thesaurus when this I-Don’t-Remember-the-Sixties-or-the-Seventies-or-the-Eighties brain refuses to give me the word I want–but when I want the perfect word and can’t quite hit on it, I turn to my non-dictionary style Roget’s.  The simple-answer style doesn’t encourage the roaming over seemingly unrelated words and the resulting serendipity.  Likewise with dictionary-style books about history.
      But I digress.
      This is about getting rid of books.  One method I used on fiction in the past was to ask myself what the chances were of my re-reading a book.  Then if I was still holding onto it, under the assumption that I would live to be seven hundred and forty-three years old–which is how long I would have to live in order to have time to get through the TBR pile as well as re-read all those books I imagine I’ll ever re-read–I’d ask, If I had to move in one month, would I want to add this to the boxes?
      I could explain how this does or doesn’t work out but I have to go to the hairdresser now, and anyway, I could use some ideas.
      How do you deal with the books in your life?  Do you keep them, and just buy bigger houses?  Do you cull?  Do you discard as you go along?  What’s your philosophy and method?

57 thoughts on “My shelf runneth over”

  1. Ah books! One of life’s finest pleasures.
    I do keep quite a high percentage of books that I read and the criteria is “If I really like that book, will I read it again?”
    Some books are just one-reads and I’ll trade at one of the used bookstores, give to my eldest daughter if SHE really liked it, or just give it away hoping that someone else will find it and love it.
    I’m also pretty bad [or good?] at hanging onto any book by one of my collect-anything-from favourite authors. The difficulty in this is that I keep finding more of these as I read.
    So I’ve got boxes of books, cases of books and shelves of books; at last count about 1300. But I do cull them from time to time; some books I’ve read and re-read, and then realize that their time, for me, has passed. Then there are the books that I will NEVER cull because they are among my lifelong friends.
    But because I keep so many books and read constantly there is a lot of upkeep ~ not that I complain because I love books! And if I don’t absolutely love it, someone else will.
    That’s my long answer ~ thanks for the great topic!! One of my favourites, BTW…Books! ^.^
    Kathy

    Reply
  2. Ah books! One of life’s finest pleasures.
    I do keep quite a high percentage of books that I read and the criteria is “If I really like that book, will I read it again?”
    Some books are just one-reads and I’ll trade at one of the used bookstores, give to my eldest daughter if SHE really liked it, or just give it away hoping that someone else will find it and love it.
    I’m also pretty bad [or good?] at hanging onto any book by one of my collect-anything-from favourite authors. The difficulty in this is that I keep finding more of these as I read.
    So I’ve got boxes of books, cases of books and shelves of books; at last count about 1300. But I do cull them from time to time; some books I’ve read and re-read, and then realize that their time, for me, has passed. Then there are the books that I will NEVER cull because they are among my lifelong friends.
    But because I keep so many books and read constantly there is a lot of upkeep ~ not that I complain because I love books! And if I don’t absolutely love it, someone else will.
    That’s my long answer ~ thanks for the great topic!! One of my favourites, BTW…Books! ^.^
    Kathy

    Reply
  3. Ah books! One of life’s finest pleasures.
    I do keep quite a high percentage of books that I read and the criteria is “If I really like that book, will I read it again?”
    Some books are just one-reads and I’ll trade at one of the used bookstores, give to my eldest daughter if SHE really liked it, or just give it away hoping that someone else will find it and love it.
    I’m also pretty bad [or good?] at hanging onto any book by one of my collect-anything-from favourite authors. The difficulty in this is that I keep finding more of these as I read.
    So I’ve got boxes of books, cases of books and shelves of books; at last count about 1300. But I do cull them from time to time; some books I’ve read and re-read, and then realize that their time, for me, has passed. Then there are the books that I will NEVER cull because they are among my lifelong friends.
    But because I keep so many books and read constantly there is a lot of upkeep ~ not that I complain because I love books! And if I don’t absolutely love it, someone else will.
    That’s my long answer ~ thanks for the great topic!! One of my favourites, BTW…Books! ^.^
    Kathy

    Reply
  4. I hoard them.
    I’m thinking of turning my family room into a natural cherry wood paneled den/library with three walls of book shelves 9 feet high surrounding my stone fireplace. I imagine this room coversion will be prohibitively expensive.
    Organization is vitally important to me, however, so I do not have stacks of books laying around. I have them boxed up in a cool, dark and humidity controlled place (my finished basement). I keep the most used books on the shelves we do have in the family room.

    Reply
  5. I hoard them.
    I’m thinking of turning my family room into a natural cherry wood paneled den/library with three walls of book shelves 9 feet high surrounding my stone fireplace. I imagine this room coversion will be prohibitively expensive.
    Organization is vitally important to me, however, so I do not have stacks of books laying around. I have them boxed up in a cool, dark and humidity controlled place (my finished basement). I keep the most used books on the shelves we do have in the family room.

    Reply
  6. I hoard them.
    I’m thinking of turning my family room into a natural cherry wood paneled den/library with three walls of book shelves 9 feet high surrounding my stone fireplace. I imagine this room coversion will be prohibitively expensive.
    Organization is vitally important to me, however, so I do not have stacks of books laying around. I have them boxed up in a cool, dark and humidity controlled place (my finished basement). I keep the most used books on the shelves we do have in the family room.

    Reply
  7. Yet another Kathy checking in. 😉
    Maybe we should have a subgroup of Wenches called, “the Kathys”. I keep books of my favorite authors. Many other books go into a box after one reading to resell at the UBS or donate to worthy organizations. When we move, putting the “keepers” into boxes is always a long task. Occasionally I go through the shelves and cull. Going through the shelves reunites me with some of the old favorites that I haven’t seen in a while. But since I have a little office where I am queen, nobody complains about the fire hazard of books stacked high. Of course I remember where everything is (not!). The problem is that I like several kinds of books/subjects and it’s hard to keep everything under control. My Mom once gave me a book called “biblioholism”. I think she was trying to gently suggest that I needed an intervention. I’m in the “I can stop reading any time I want to, but I don’t want to stop at this time” stage.

    Reply
  8. Yet another Kathy checking in. 😉
    Maybe we should have a subgroup of Wenches called, “the Kathys”. I keep books of my favorite authors. Many other books go into a box after one reading to resell at the UBS or donate to worthy organizations. When we move, putting the “keepers” into boxes is always a long task. Occasionally I go through the shelves and cull. Going through the shelves reunites me with some of the old favorites that I haven’t seen in a while. But since I have a little office where I am queen, nobody complains about the fire hazard of books stacked high. Of course I remember where everything is (not!). The problem is that I like several kinds of books/subjects and it’s hard to keep everything under control. My Mom once gave me a book called “biblioholism”. I think she was trying to gently suggest that I needed an intervention. I’m in the “I can stop reading any time I want to, but I don’t want to stop at this time” stage.

    Reply
  9. Yet another Kathy checking in. 😉
    Maybe we should have a subgroup of Wenches called, “the Kathys”. I keep books of my favorite authors. Many other books go into a box after one reading to resell at the UBS or donate to worthy organizations. When we move, putting the “keepers” into boxes is always a long task. Occasionally I go through the shelves and cull. Going through the shelves reunites me with some of the old favorites that I haven’t seen in a while. But since I have a little office where I am queen, nobody complains about the fire hazard of books stacked high. Of course I remember where everything is (not!). The problem is that I like several kinds of books/subjects and it’s hard to keep everything under control. My Mom once gave me a book called “biblioholism”. I think she was trying to gently suggest that I needed an intervention. I’m in the “I can stop reading any time I want to, but I don’t want to stop at this time” stage.

    Reply
  10. As a matter of fact, one year at an RWA national conference, all the Kathys were wearing “The Kathy Club” buttons. The club was also open to Cathys, Kathes, Cathis, and other variations. 🙁
    Needless to say, I’m another bookrat. One of the reasons I moved from my smallish townhouse to this quite sizable freestanding house was because I needed more bookshelves. Moving solved the problem for a few years, but no longer. I’m now planning a major cull of books I’m unlikely to reread, or use for research. The process is vaguely akin to removing fingernails with red hot pliers.
    Have fun with the hairdresser, Loretta!
    Mary Jo, wondering if we should start a chapter of “Bookaholics Anonymous…”

    Reply
  11. As a matter of fact, one year at an RWA national conference, all the Kathys were wearing “The Kathy Club” buttons. The club was also open to Cathys, Kathes, Cathis, and other variations. 🙁
    Needless to say, I’m another bookrat. One of the reasons I moved from my smallish townhouse to this quite sizable freestanding house was because I needed more bookshelves. Moving solved the problem for a few years, but no longer. I’m now planning a major cull of books I’m unlikely to reread, or use for research. The process is vaguely akin to removing fingernails with red hot pliers.
    Have fun with the hairdresser, Loretta!
    Mary Jo, wondering if we should start a chapter of “Bookaholics Anonymous…”

    Reply
  12. As a matter of fact, one year at an RWA national conference, all the Kathys were wearing “The Kathy Club” buttons. The club was also open to Cathys, Kathes, Cathis, and other variations. 🙁
    Needless to say, I’m another bookrat. One of the reasons I moved from my smallish townhouse to this quite sizable freestanding house was because I needed more bookshelves. Moving solved the problem for a few years, but no longer. I’m now planning a major cull of books I’m unlikely to reread, or use for research. The process is vaguely akin to removing fingernails with red hot pliers.
    Have fun with the hairdresser, Loretta!
    Mary Jo, wondering if we should start a chapter of “Bookaholics Anonymous…”

    Reply
  13. Hi, I’m Jo and I’m a….. 🙂
    Like you, Loretta, I have books I’ve hardly read, and ones I’ve read once and am unlikely to read again. But you know, there is a mystical dimension to books.
    With some, it seems to me that having the book on the shelf retains part of the pleasure I got from reading it, always there, always glowing.
    It even feels that way with the knowledge. If I let Duby’s THE KNIGHT, THE LADY, AND THE PRIEST leave, some of the knowledge would sneak out of my brain to go with it.
    But I have begun to be ruthless. Duty books. (I really should read that one day.) Gone.
    Dull books. (Read them, they were worthy, but there’s no lingering glow at all.) Gone unless I’m sure that there is stuff there I truly might want and would not be able to find anywhere else.
    There’s a book on decluttering and Feng Shui — can’t remember the exact title — and that helped me get rid of a lot of classic fiction. I’ll be honest, there is very little classic fiction that I have truly enjoyed. I kept it because it seemed there should be copies of Jane Eyre, Tom Jones etc on my shelves. But as the book pointed out, they’re readily available, on line as e-texts, and in most libraries.
    Gone.
    By the way, you might all want to check out librarything.com. You can list your books — it’s easy because you can do it from ISBN — and see what other books are in the system that are similar. Who has libraries that link with yours etc.
    It doesn’t look to me as if there are enough romance titles entered, so go for it!
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  14. Hi, I’m Jo and I’m a….. 🙂
    Like you, Loretta, I have books I’ve hardly read, and ones I’ve read once and am unlikely to read again. But you know, there is a mystical dimension to books.
    With some, it seems to me that having the book on the shelf retains part of the pleasure I got from reading it, always there, always glowing.
    It even feels that way with the knowledge. If I let Duby’s THE KNIGHT, THE LADY, AND THE PRIEST leave, some of the knowledge would sneak out of my brain to go with it.
    But I have begun to be ruthless. Duty books. (I really should read that one day.) Gone.
    Dull books. (Read them, they were worthy, but there’s no lingering glow at all.) Gone unless I’m sure that there is stuff there I truly might want and would not be able to find anywhere else.
    There’s a book on decluttering and Feng Shui — can’t remember the exact title — and that helped me get rid of a lot of classic fiction. I’ll be honest, there is very little classic fiction that I have truly enjoyed. I kept it because it seemed there should be copies of Jane Eyre, Tom Jones etc on my shelves. But as the book pointed out, they’re readily available, on line as e-texts, and in most libraries.
    Gone.
    By the way, you might all want to check out librarything.com. You can list your books — it’s easy because you can do it from ISBN — and see what other books are in the system that are similar. Who has libraries that link with yours etc.
    It doesn’t look to me as if there are enough romance titles entered, so go for it!
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  15. Hi, I’m Jo and I’m a….. 🙂
    Like you, Loretta, I have books I’ve hardly read, and ones I’ve read once and am unlikely to read again. But you know, there is a mystical dimension to books.
    With some, it seems to me that having the book on the shelf retains part of the pleasure I got from reading it, always there, always glowing.
    It even feels that way with the knowledge. If I let Duby’s THE KNIGHT, THE LADY, AND THE PRIEST leave, some of the knowledge would sneak out of my brain to go with it.
    But I have begun to be ruthless. Duty books. (I really should read that one day.) Gone.
    Dull books. (Read them, they were worthy, but there’s no lingering glow at all.) Gone unless I’m sure that there is stuff there I truly might want and would not be able to find anywhere else.
    There’s a book on decluttering and Feng Shui — can’t remember the exact title — and that helped me get rid of a lot of classic fiction. I’ll be honest, there is very little classic fiction that I have truly enjoyed. I kept it because it seemed there should be copies of Jane Eyre, Tom Jones etc on my shelves. But as the book pointed out, they’re readily available, on line as e-texts, and in most libraries.
    Gone.
    By the way, you might all want to check out librarything.com. You can list your books — it’s easy because you can do it from ISBN — and see what other books are in the system that are similar. Who has libraries that link with yours etc.
    It doesn’t look to me as if there are enough romance titles entered, so go for it!
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  16. Mary Jo, I love the idea of being a book rat! I see this clever, bright-eyed little critter scuttling around and over all the tottering TBR piles while his (my?) whiskers twitch with excitement. Loretta, I agree with you about leafing through a book giving you that serendipity moment. The Internet is great for quick and dirty questions but books fire my imagination. And those ideas that come like lightning are always the BEST ones.

    Reply
  17. Mary Jo, I love the idea of being a book rat! I see this clever, bright-eyed little critter scuttling around and over all the tottering TBR piles while his (my?) whiskers twitch with excitement. Loretta, I agree with you about leafing through a book giving you that serendipity moment. The Internet is great for quick and dirty questions but books fire my imagination. And those ideas that come like lightning are always the BEST ones.

    Reply
  18. Mary Jo, I love the idea of being a book rat! I see this clever, bright-eyed little critter scuttling around and over all the tottering TBR piles while his (my?) whiskers twitch with excitement. Loretta, I agree with you about leafing through a book giving you that serendipity moment. The Internet is great for quick and dirty questions but books fire my imagination. And those ideas that come like lightning are always the BEST ones.

    Reply
  19. I have far too many books. They’re in every room of the house and now I’m thinking of building an attic room lined with bookshelves.
    I know I ought to cull my books. I would, except I have discovered that the moment you pass the book onto a friend, or donate it to a charity or whatever, you need it. You’ll remember a scene, or be telling someone about it and will grab it to lend to them… and there it isn’t.
    I so agree, Jo, that each book retains some of the pleasure I got from it. I’ve been known to buy second or third copies of beloved books I’ve seen abandoned in charity shops. Can’t have Georgette Heyer or Winnie the Pooh (the old version with the Shepard illustrations) or a stray copy of Precious Bane sitting ignominiously in a box on the pavement!
    Books have always been friends to me, and you can never have too many good friends.

    Reply
  20. I have far too many books. They’re in every room of the house and now I’m thinking of building an attic room lined with bookshelves.
    I know I ought to cull my books. I would, except I have discovered that the moment you pass the book onto a friend, or donate it to a charity or whatever, you need it. You’ll remember a scene, or be telling someone about it and will grab it to lend to them… and there it isn’t.
    I so agree, Jo, that each book retains some of the pleasure I got from it. I’ve been known to buy second or third copies of beloved books I’ve seen abandoned in charity shops. Can’t have Georgette Heyer or Winnie the Pooh (the old version with the Shepard illustrations) or a stray copy of Precious Bane sitting ignominiously in a box on the pavement!
    Books have always been friends to me, and you can never have too many good friends.

    Reply
  21. I have far too many books. They’re in every room of the house and now I’m thinking of building an attic room lined with bookshelves.
    I know I ought to cull my books. I would, except I have discovered that the moment you pass the book onto a friend, or donate it to a charity or whatever, you need it. You’ll remember a scene, or be telling someone about it and will grab it to lend to them… and there it isn’t.
    I so agree, Jo, that each book retains some of the pleasure I got from it. I’ve been known to buy second or third copies of beloved books I’ve seen abandoned in charity shops. Can’t have Georgette Heyer or Winnie the Pooh (the old version with the Shepard illustrations) or a stray copy of Precious Bane sitting ignominiously in a box on the pavement!
    Books have always been friends to me, and you can never have too many good friends.

    Reply
  22. I second Jo’s recommendation of LibraryThing. It’s a highly addictive site. I’m susansw there.
    I’m a reformed hoarder. When I moved cross-country about ten years ago I had to cull the herd, and now my husband, daughter, and I are living in what can only be called a cozy house. There’s just not enough space for me to keep every book I read. So when I finish a book, I ask myself if I can see myself reading it again. If the answer is no, it goes straight to my library donation pile.
    Still, we have many bookshelves, all of them full and overflowing.

    Reply
  23. I second Jo’s recommendation of LibraryThing. It’s a highly addictive site. I’m susansw there.
    I’m a reformed hoarder. When I moved cross-country about ten years ago I had to cull the herd, and now my husband, daughter, and I are living in what can only be called a cozy house. There’s just not enough space for me to keep every book I read. So when I finish a book, I ask myself if I can see myself reading it again. If the answer is no, it goes straight to my library donation pile.
    Still, we have many bookshelves, all of them full and overflowing.

    Reply
  24. I second Jo’s recommendation of LibraryThing. It’s a highly addictive site. I’m susansw there.
    I’m a reformed hoarder. When I moved cross-country about ten years ago I had to cull the herd, and now my husband, daughter, and I are living in what can only be called a cozy house. There’s just not enough space for me to keep every book I read. So when I finish a book, I ask myself if I can see myself reading it again. If the answer is no, it goes straight to my library donation pile.
    Still, we have many bookshelves, all of them full and overflowing.

    Reply
  25. I am a book addict too, and although I force myself to cull my bookshelves at least once a year, the books still seem to multiply. I tried to discipline myself by applying a rule that for every book I buy I must discard one, but it is a rule I find nearly impossible to follow. I also have two floor to ceiling bookcases in my office crammed with books. I don’t know where they are going to go when I retire in another year or two.
    And Anne Gracie posted on Word Wenches. How cool!

    Reply
  26. I am a book addict too, and although I force myself to cull my bookshelves at least once a year, the books still seem to multiply. I tried to discipline myself by applying a rule that for every book I buy I must discard one, but it is a rule I find nearly impossible to follow. I also have two floor to ceiling bookcases in my office crammed with books. I don’t know where they are going to go when I retire in another year or two.
    And Anne Gracie posted on Word Wenches. How cool!

    Reply
  27. I am a book addict too, and although I force myself to cull my bookshelves at least once a year, the books still seem to multiply. I tried to discipline myself by applying a rule that for every book I buy I must discard one, but it is a rule I find nearly impossible to follow. I also have two floor to ceiling bookcases in my office crammed with books. I don’t know where they are going to go when I retire in another year or two.
    And Anne Gracie posted on Word Wenches. How cool!

    Reply
  28. With books I have read cover to cover, I can not part. They line my shelves, lovers of my heart.
    Repositories of knowledge, fact or fiction, each I have caressed. In trade they have entertained, enthralled and blessed.
    Sweetly, I return to them, some more oft than not. By each I am changed, ephemeral lovers my heart besought.
    — the littlest wenchling, who was entranced by QUEEN OF THE SHADOWS.

    Reply
  29. With books I have read cover to cover, I can not part. They line my shelves, lovers of my heart.
    Repositories of knowledge, fact or fiction, each I have caressed. In trade they have entertained, enthralled and blessed.
    Sweetly, I return to them, some more oft than not. By each I am changed, ephemeral lovers my heart besought.
    — the littlest wenchling, who was entranced by QUEEN OF THE SHADOWS.

    Reply
  30. With books I have read cover to cover, I can not part. They line my shelves, lovers of my heart.
    Repositories of knowledge, fact or fiction, each I have caressed. In trade they have entertained, enthralled and blessed.
    Sweetly, I return to them, some more oft than not. By each I am changed, ephemeral lovers my heart besought.
    — the littlest wenchling, who was entranced by QUEEN OF THE SHADOWS.

    Reply
  31. I third Jo’s suggestion of LibraryThing.com. It’s the best organization software for libraries I have ever seen. And highly addictive! I bought a small barcode reader (on eBay) and that made cataloguing fast and easy.

    Reply
  32. I third Jo’s suggestion of LibraryThing.com. It’s the best organization software for libraries I have ever seen. And highly addictive! I bought a small barcode reader (on eBay) and that made cataloguing fast and easy.

    Reply
  33. I third Jo’s suggestion of LibraryThing.com. It’s the best organization software for libraries I have ever seen. And highly addictive! I bought a small barcode reader (on eBay) and that made cataloguing fast and easy.

    Reply
  34. Bookrat is the right word! I have books the way other people have mice. Except I love them all. One in a bluish moon, I cull some and donate them to the library. Usually, I build more shelves.
    big old sigh.

    Reply
  35. Bookrat is the right word! I have books the way other people have mice. Except I love them all. One in a bluish moon, I cull some and donate them to the library. Usually, I build more shelves.
    big old sigh.

    Reply
  36. Bookrat is the right word! I have books the way other people have mice. Except I love them all. One in a bluish moon, I cull some and donate them to the library. Usually, I build more shelves.
    big old sigh.

    Reply
  37. Amen to everything said…
    Yep, I’m the one who prefers Rogets so I can go word roaming.
    I’m the one with floor-to-ceiling shelves of American history references just in case American historicals come back.
    I’m the one who has moved a dozen times and reverently packed sixty blue million books just in case this time I’ll have a library room.
    And I’m the one who has reluctantly realized that should I ever buy a palace, it won’t be big enough. Therefore, I have begun to cull. And like Anne, immediately missed the culled books.
    There is no good solution. I miss the old high school paperback classics I thumbed through when I wanted to mention a particular scene stuck in my head. I miss the Book-of-the-month club editions I gave to the library because I’m always wanting to reference one of them and can’t remember the author or title. And even the mass markets that I’ve been giving away because I know I’ll never read them again would have kept me from buying them again because the cover was so darned clever!
    Nope, no solution, Loretta. Add a room or let the library bring the house down around your head sometime. That’s all I can tell you.

    Reply
  38. Amen to everything said…
    Yep, I’m the one who prefers Rogets so I can go word roaming.
    I’m the one with floor-to-ceiling shelves of American history references just in case American historicals come back.
    I’m the one who has moved a dozen times and reverently packed sixty blue million books just in case this time I’ll have a library room.
    And I’m the one who has reluctantly realized that should I ever buy a palace, it won’t be big enough. Therefore, I have begun to cull. And like Anne, immediately missed the culled books.
    There is no good solution. I miss the old high school paperback classics I thumbed through when I wanted to mention a particular scene stuck in my head. I miss the Book-of-the-month club editions I gave to the library because I’m always wanting to reference one of them and can’t remember the author or title. And even the mass markets that I’ve been giving away because I know I’ll never read them again would have kept me from buying them again because the cover was so darned clever!
    Nope, no solution, Loretta. Add a room or let the library bring the house down around your head sometime. That’s all I can tell you.

    Reply
  39. Amen to everything said…
    Yep, I’m the one who prefers Rogets so I can go word roaming.
    I’m the one with floor-to-ceiling shelves of American history references just in case American historicals come back.
    I’m the one who has moved a dozen times and reverently packed sixty blue million books just in case this time I’ll have a library room.
    And I’m the one who has reluctantly realized that should I ever buy a palace, it won’t be big enough. Therefore, I have begun to cull. And like Anne, immediately missed the culled books.
    There is no good solution. I miss the old high school paperback classics I thumbed through when I wanted to mention a particular scene stuck in my head. I miss the Book-of-the-month club editions I gave to the library because I’m always wanting to reference one of them and can’t remember the author or title. And even the mass markets that I’ve been giving away because I know I’ll never read them again would have kept me from buying them again because the cover was so darned clever!
    Nope, no solution, Loretta. Add a room or let the library bring the house down around your head sometime. That’s all I can tell you.

    Reply
  40. Oh, what a relief to find that I am far from alone in my beautiful book chaos. We love to read, therefore we love books. Perhaps too much. Perhaps we are too possessive. But as several of you have noted, one culls a book only to discover not long thereafter that one needs it…misses it. Thank you for the recommendations for Librarything. I’m heading there ASAP. In my new haircut.

    Reply
  41. Oh, what a relief to find that I am far from alone in my beautiful book chaos. We love to read, therefore we love books. Perhaps too much. Perhaps we are too possessive. But as several of you have noted, one culls a book only to discover not long thereafter that one needs it…misses it. Thank you for the recommendations for Librarything. I’m heading there ASAP. In my new haircut.

    Reply
  42. Oh, what a relief to find that I am far from alone in my beautiful book chaos. We love to read, therefore we love books. Perhaps too much. Perhaps we are too possessive. But as several of you have noted, one culls a book only to discover not long thereafter that one needs it…misses it. Thank you for the recommendations for Librarything. I’m heading there ASAP. In my new haircut.

    Reply
  43. Like all of you I literally have books stacked two & three deep on shelves and on top of the book cases, to the ceiling. I have culled as I moved from Iowa to New Mexico to Maryland to Massachusetts but still I have more boxes of books than pieces of furniture and boxes of clothes.
    This summer I contemplated buying more bookcases but it might have involved reinforcing the floors – so with a stiff upper lip – I began to cull. (I can do it with clothes – if I didn’t wear X all season, it gets donated, IMMEDIATELY, no second chances for that sweater or little silk tee shirt!) But books?
    Instead of donating them to the public library – where if they are a paperback they almost immediately go into the sale bins – I have been selling them on Amazon. It is a hard thing to admit – especially here on an author site! But if I have read a referral or a review or picked up a book on the $5 table at Barnes & Noble and if I love the author (Lee Child for example)I buy all of the back list and then buy all the new in hardback. And then I have another twelve books to find a home for!
    My only consolation is that while I enjoyed the book just once – I may have forwarded it on to someone who will love the book and re-read it and buy all of the authors’ backlist. But at least the book is circulating not sitting in my home getting dusty.

    Reply
  44. Like all of you I literally have books stacked two & three deep on shelves and on top of the book cases, to the ceiling. I have culled as I moved from Iowa to New Mexico to Maryland to Massachusetts but still I have more boxes of books than pieces of furniture and boxes of clothes.
    This summer I contemplated buying more bookcases but it might have involved reinforcing the floors – so with a stiff upper lip – I began to cull. (I can do it with clothes – if I didn’t wear X all season, it gets donated, IMMEDIATELY, no second chances for that sweater or little silk tee shirt!) But books?
    Instead of donating them to the public library – where if they are a paperback they almost immediately go into the sale bins – I have been selling them on Amazon. It is a hard thing to admit – especially here on an author site! But if I have read a referral or a review or picked up a book on the $5 table at Barnes & Noble and if I love the author (Lee Child for example)I buy all of the back list and then buy all the new in hardback. And then I have another twelve books to find a home for!
    My only consolation is that while I enjoyed the book just once – I may have forwarded it on to someone who will love the book and re-read it and buy all of the authors’ backlist. But at least the book is circulating not sitting in my home getting dusty.

    Reply
  45. Like all of you I literally have books stacked two & three deep on shelves and on top of the book cases, to the ceiling. I have culled as I moved from Iowa to New Mexico to Maryland to Massachusetts but still I have more boxes of books than pieces of furniture and boxes of clothes.
    This summer I contemplated buying more bookcases but it might have involved reinforcing the floors – so with a stiff upper lip – I began to cull. (I can do it with clothes – if I didn’t wear X all season, it gets donated, IMMEDIATELY, no second chances for that sweater or little silk tee shirt!) But books?
    Instead of donating them to the public library – where if they are a paperback they almost immediately go into the sale bins – I have been selling them on Amazon. It is a hard thing to admit – especially here on an author site! But if I have read a referral or a review or picked up a book on the $5 table at Barnes & Noble and if I love the author (Lee Child for example)I buy all of the back list and then buy all the new in hardback. And then I have another twelve books to find a home for!
    My only consolation is that while I enjoyed the book just once – I may have forwarded it on to someone who will love the book and re-read it and buy all of the authors’ backlist. But at least the book is circulating not sitting in my home getting dusty.

    Reply
  46. I’m way late to this party – gone for a week for Thanksgiving, and a lovely time it was. My experiences with books are very much the same as everyone else’s here, so not much to add but this little anecdote:
    I too have hundreds and hundreds of books that have moved with me several times. When I moved to NJ, I rented a 3rd floor apartment in a building with no elevator. I paid some friends of a friend to move my boxes from the moving truck to my apartment. After the dozenth or so trip up the stairs with a box of books, one of the men – a musician and composer – asked, “Haven’t you read these already?” Translation, “Why do you need these?” I asked him, “Have you listened to all your CDs?”, knowing he had a large collection.
    He hushed and carried up the rest without comment. He got the point, but I often get amazement over my book collection when less avid readers or non-readers come to my home. I generally don’t even try to explain.

    Reply
  47. I’m way late to this party – gone for a week for Thanksgiving, and a lovely time it was. My experiences with books are very much the same as everyone else’s here, so not much to add but this little anecdote:
    I too have hundreds and hundreds of books that have moved with me several times. When I moved to NJ, I rented a 3rd floor apartment in a building with no elevator. I paid some friends of a friend to move my boxes from the moving truck to my apartment. After the dozenth or so trip up the stairs with a box of books, one of the men – a musician and composer – asked, “Haven’t you read these already?” Translation, “Why do you need these?” I asked him, “Have you listened to all your CDs?”, knowing he had a large collection.
    He hushed and carried up the rest without comment. He got the point, but I often get amazement over my book collection when less avid readers or non-readers come to my home. I generally don’t even try to explain.

    Reply
  48. I’m way late to this party – gone for a week for Thanksgiving, and a lovely time it was. My experiences with books are very much the same as everyone else’s here, so not much to add but this little anecdote:
    I too have hundreds and hundreds of books that have moved with me several times. When I moved to NJ, I rented a 3rd floor apartment in a building with no elevator. I paid some friends of a friend to move my boxes from the moving truck to my apartment. After the dozenth or so trip up the stairs with a box of books, one of the men – a musician and composer – asked, “Haven’t you read these already?” Translation, “Why do you need these?” I asked him, “Have you listened to all your CDs?”, knowing he had a large collection.
    He hushed and carried up the rest without comment. He got the point, but I often get amazement over my book collection when less avid readers or non-readers come to my home. I generally don’t even try to explain.

    Reply
  49. LOL! Susannac, the answer about the CDs is perfect–and I can think of several ways to apply it–and persons to apply it to. Thank you. One of the many great things about this blog is communicating with people who understand about the books.

    Reply
  50. LOL! Susannac, the answer about the CDs is perfect–and I can think of several ways to apply it–and persons to apply it to. Thank you. One of the many great things about this blog is communicating with people who understand about the books.

    Reply
  51. LOL! Susannac, the answer about the CDs is perfect–and I can think of several ways to apply it–and persons to apply it to. Thank you. One of the many great things about this blog is communicating with people who understand about the books.

    Reply

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