I have a real problem with having just too many books. There must be 4000 of them in my front room alone. Add to them the extra 6000 that came on a disc from eBay for the Kindle that gives me 10,000 books at my fingertips.
I know R I D I C U L O U S. I need to move them on. However I need to read them first.
If you were here in my house and I gave you the tour of the library as you walked into the front room you would see the left wall has ceiling to floor bookshelves and they are lined with my Penguin collections. The Penguins are also double shelved. If you then looked to the right side of the room again you would see three large bookshelves filled with yet more books. These are the non Penguins. These are the books I just have to have when I have visited book sales, garage sales, second hand bookshops, markets and yes new book store shelves. The percentage of these books that are unread is too embarrassing to publish.
When I got my Kindle a year ago I wanted to get books loaded onto it. Anyone who has an e-Reader will probably know how much fun it is to put books onto it, especially when confronted with all the very cheap and free books 'out there'.
I bought a disk from an eBay seller that said, "Loaded with books from all genres." It was less than $10.00 and had free postage. Of course I am going to "buy it now". However a week later I received an email from eBay staff telling me I would not get this disk as the seller had been de-registered. Oh oh, must be pirated. I said goodbye to my $10.00 and vowed to leave the book sections on eBay alone.
Two days later the disk arrived. Despite the dire warning from eBay a solidly packaged disk of 6000 books was in my hand, all neatly divided into folders with all genres and all mobi files. Not only that but it contained software to be used to transfer any book file into any other book file I wanted.
But what was really wrong with this disk? Probably the folder that said, "Best of 2011." I think every book that was ever published in 2011 is on this disk. Also every crime author I can think of, romance, drama, adventure, travel, comedy....this is a very illegal disk and I am sure now this seller was de-registered with very good reason. I'd be surprised if he isn't doing time somewhere.
Now my dilemma. Do I simply destroy the disk, doing the right thing? Do I copy it a dozen times and pass it around to my friends? Well, no. I do have some scruples. However I do not have as many scruples as I once thought I did. I kept the disk. I did not pass it on willy nilly. I believe too much in keeping the book markets going. But there is no way I can destroy all these books. Besides, I justified, there are so many I'll never be able to read even if I am reincarnated in this same household for another 16 lifetimes. So I have put it in the drawer. Yes I do take the occasional book from it.
But now , getting back to my original dilemma. I am going to get really disciplined here. For the next calendar year, yes 2014, but beginning NOW I am only going to read my own books.
My goal is to move on all of the non Penguin books to free up the space so my front room is only the Penguin collection. All other books, once read will be given to friends, released into the wild or sold. I am not getting any younger and definitely time to downsize. I will put them in bus shelters, in the hands of people who would enjoy them one way or another. I will have competitions on my blog site.
As for ordering from the library, every book listed in the Australian Good Reading Magazine, ABC Tuesday Book Club and every other source of review I read I am now going to stop that. Cold turkey? Well, ah, no. Instead of putting everything onto the library wish list and picking them up in buckets I will only order one Library book at a time. If it takes 100 days to come in then so be it.
The Challenge: I will read only the books I own and put the list up linked to the badge.
This way I can keep track of what I own and what I read. By doing this I should be able to work through my Century of Books challenge much quicker. I am sure I have a book in my house for every year of that century. The Penguins alone would fulfil that quest.
Okay- so you heard it here first. For all of you people out there who want to get through their own TBR books that have been collecting dust for how long?? now is your chance to join this challenge.
Feel free to take the badge and link it to your list of books you own. You might only want to do a list of 10 or 20 at a time. You might want to put up a length of time you will only read these books. Up to you but I'm going ahead and I am looking forward to clearing out some of my beloved books to someone else.
There will be giveaways from this challenge as well. If I don't get really stuck into this challenge of mine then you are going to get to know me not through my blog but by watching that awful show on TV about hoarders and all the psychologists that try to get them to clean up their homes. You know what I'm talking about. So please, don't laugh too hard, just wish me luck.
Of course I'll wish you luck! and I'm really looking forward to seeing how this goes for you. My current plan is to read at least one from the TBR stacks for every library book or new book - but I just can't commit at this point to no new books.ReplyDelete
Haha I know exactly what you mean. Even if I slip on this challenge I won't be buying as many books as I normally do. I will buy them as gifts for other people. Will be interesting to see how I go. Even if I could read 50 from my stack I'd be happyier. Thanks for your encouragement. Will post up how I go. :-) PamDelete
Good Luck Pam! I am laughing a bit but in a fellow-feeling kind of way. I don't have as many books as you but I do start nearly every year resolving to read only the books I already own. This year I've been quite disciplined as I was saving for some home renovations & stopped buying books for a while. Unfortunately I bought a Kindle a few months ago & a lot of books have found their way on to it. Strange, isn't it?ReplyDelete
I have to say I was chuckling to myself as I wrote this but I know I have surprises in those shelves. Maybe I can put a money box by the door and pretend I'm buying books I had forgotten I had and they will seem like new. We'll see how it goes.Delete
I think the money box at the door is a brilliant idea! One really ought to still be able to have some fun and get to feel the thrill of welcoming 'new' books to the stacks (however wobbly they may be!). And I think we all know that reading is only half the pleasure to be derived from a book.... ;)Delete
Pam, Pam, Pam. I don't know what I think of this. You certainly have enough to keep anyone happy, but I also know how constraints can make one suddenly not be able to find anything good to read.ReplyDelete
As for the disk of 6,000 I just find that too overwhelming. It makes me think of my mortality. Sure you have a crazy number of real books but those you can see and smell and arrange and skim and that doesn't overwhelm me.
Ha ha- I will still have the book group books to buy and the old Penguins for my collection. Thank you for your comment. It made me laugh. PamDelete
I wish you luck — and me, too, because I'm joining you. I can't say I won't read anything else because of the challenge — I'm a teacher and a writer and have to read other books. But I've posted a list of ten books (so far) and will try to dispatch them as quickly as possible so I can fly through another ten at a time. Here's my challenge, part one:ReplyDelete
Pam - I have enjoyed your comments on other sites but not visited your blog before but rest assured that I will definitely be back - not least to find out how you are doing in working your way through your shelves!ReplyDelete
I am just relieved to think that there is someone out there who has more books than I do - I should say might have more books than I have as I actually no idea how many I do have scattered around the house!
As our children moved out (three down one to go) I have put bookshelves in their rooms and they are ALL doubleshelved. Then there are the bookshelves in the living room, the shelves all around my tiny office not to mention the boxes up in the attic some of which haven't been seen since we moved in 20 years ago!
As we are due a downsize in the next couple of years, I think that I had better make a move at working my way through the shelves or I risk needing a removal van for the books alone. Just got to resist the siren call of the library's online request facility which is usually my downfall - well that and the too-good-to-miss bargains!
How funny. Thank you for dropping by. You do sound as hopeless as I am. I love the comments I am getting. They are going to all keep me on my toes. Good luck to you too when you decide to downsize a bit. haha.Delete
Good luck! - I'm always so amazed by anyone who has the willpower to not give in to the constant temptation that is books. I think I'd have to give up reading blogs too, as that is the source of so much more temptation!ReplyDelete
Thanks Vicki, I don't know if I will have the willpower or not. Guess that is why I have labeled it a challenge. Only today I was in an op shop and picked up two books I would have loved but did not bring them home. haha. This is going to be very hard I believe. Nice to hear from you.Delete
I'll give you a pat on the back, Pam, for not buying those two books. Congratulations.Delete
Mmmmm! I hope your will power is stronger than mine. There will be No More Books I say. Then off out I go, and back home I creep with - yes, you've guessed it, MORE BOOKS!ReplyDelete
Hi Pam, what a very excellent adventure! I can't wait to see what treasures you find lurking on your own shelves over the next 15 months or so. :)ReplyDelete
I did a three year book sifting where I stopped buying new books (with about 10 exceptions in the three years) and concentrated on reading what I already owned. It was one of the most interesting experiences I've had as a reader simply because it made me think about all sorts of genres, authors and habits differently. (And yes I am going to stop saying I need to write properly about it this weekend so you can see how it worked out for me!)
Hi Alex!!! S0 happy to see you back online and getting into the swing of things again. I am looking forward to what adventures I'll have as well. You did well to only buy 10 in 3 years. I will try hard not to slip but my oh my I know myself so well but staying strong though it's only about day 2. hahaReplyDelete
Each year I decide to read just from my own books but usually I can't stick to it and read about 20 to 30 of them. This year I've read 22 so far. But I really need to get to grips with the rest or they'll all be sitting here when I'm gone. So, I'm joining you - I need all the help I can get. How to stop myself from buying more books and borrowing loads from the library is the real problem. New-to-me books are just so enticing.ReplyDelete
I probably would have been wiser to say No More Books until I read X number of my own w/out the time factor but will continue with this and see how I go. I am amazed and comforted with so many people telling me they have the same problem. Thank you for your comment. I do appreciate it.Delete