One thing is sure and reiterated by almost all of you: You love books. You may find challenges in having too many or what to do with the ones you are done with. You may have special types of favorites (or maybe you love them all). You may be a minimalist who has gone to digital reading -- or perhaps done so because you are clearing out your physical books as you downsize.
Or, you may have special shelves or libraries for your books. They may be stacked on stair steps or in attics or in the basement. I was delighted to know I wasn't the only one who kept books in the bathroom! But you love books, whether they are hardcover, paperback or digital. And I just love you all for that!
I've loved reading since I was a child. And loving books long before I knew my alphabet! Shortly after I learned how reading could take me into stories I might never have otherwise imagined, my parents took me to the Adirondacks on spring vacation. They were both delighted and frustrated that I hardly saw any of this trip as my head was in a book the whole way!
From the comments, I learned that many of you developed your love of reading as children. You couldn't get enough then, you can't now.
I also learned that we all have lots of ways of tracking our reads, getting our books, storing them and (sometimes) letting them go!
Pat wondered if I got books from the library or purchase them new or used.
It depends on the book. If it's one I think I'll keep and refer to or add to a series, I'm inclined to buy it new (usually online) or possibly get used if it's in excellent shape. I have two friends with whom I trade books (see purging question below!). We'll send books we're done with to each other. Some of those move on again, others stop on my shelf forever. Finally, and this is mostly for a book club read of a current new book, I'll borrow from another Savory Sister (our book club). I did just get a library card (believe it or not -- my first since high school!), so who knows what might change.
I found that a lot of you use the library and three cheers on that! A recent Gallup Poll found that in 2019, more people went to the library than to the movies and I think that says great things for this valuable institution!
And what do you do with them after? How does one purge books when they are hard to part with?
Well, as you might guess, there are a lot I keep and they get shelved (see below). Others I might save for my friends Joan or Suzanne or another friend who might like something specific. (I was thrilled when an MSU theatre student took several boxes of stage bios, plays and more from my theatre library last year!) Our bookstore takes used books in good condition and for those recent ones in good condition that I know I'll not keep go there first. We get either cash or a store credit. If none of the above fly, they go in the donate pile. I have rarely put a book in the trash.
A lot of you have the same problem, I'm happy to say! Many of you said you took books to the library for their sales after and Penny was fortunate in being able to donate a large collection to a senior citizens community for their library or to use as a fundraiser. (That's a great idea I will remember!)
And here's a good question from Joyce F. -- What do you do with an old World Book Encyclopedia? That's a good question -- loads of volumes; lots of the info out of date. I remember doing school reports from those -- but I was in fifth grade then. Six decades later, I don't think my 60s World Book would have much value, at least till it's a little older! (I did once buy a 1940s World Book at a sale. It was only one volume and given the time it was published, fascinating.) Any ideas?
Someone else asked "How do you organize your books?"
The short answer is "badly." I do try to keep the mysteries together by series. And, as many of the England/France books that will fit on the shelf together (there are always strays in this category). The same for the bios on the Royals. (I was relieved when at least one of you said your shelves were double-deep, too!
As for the rest of it, wherever it fits on the shelf!
I'm happy to note I'm not alone in the organizing department! Elizabeth and Mae said they had their books all over the house and in fact more than one of you had books in every room of the house! Erika says there has to be a really good reason for her getting rid of a book, and some of you either have or are hoping to convert spare rooms into libraries. (I'm a little envious!) Others still have part of their book collections at the home of a parent (especially children's books).
How Do You Track Your Reading?
I keep a little notebook with the title, author and number of pages and try to set a goal each year. I've done this for eons. My current paper record goes back maybe 15 years (I should check!) but I remember doing this throughout high school and college. I know others of you track on Goodreads or through your blogs, and perhaps notebooks.
Erin has come up with something interesting in her recent post. She's tracking plenty of things -- titles, challenges, and even money saved by using the library! Check out her post to see how well she did in January -- I was impressed!
Kindle or Paper?
I don't read well on a screen and I love the tactile feel of paper, being able to take notes if I want. Maybe someday...what about you?
I was glad I asked! I learned that many of you who have let your physical books go are reading on Kindle or Nook. And, as several of you said, that way you never have to worry about running out books when you are finished with one! Rick told me I could download books from the library, which I never knew. Barb says she must read on Kindle, though she prefers the other, due to an allergy to the formaldehyde that is in paper. I had no idea about the formaldehyde in paper. Her story is fascinating. Others read that way because it is portable. .
And others? No way that Kindle is coming into use unless physical circumstances mandate it! I fall a bit into that camp and was glad there were at least some "Kindred Kindle Spirits" out there with me!
Some of you also listen to audio books and enjoy those tremendously, even having favorite readers. I do recall some road trips back during the books-on-tape days where we listened to some good books. I might have to revisit that for travel.
What About Children's Books
Several of you mentioned that you still have some of your favorite children's books -- and wish you had more. Others have picked up children's books as adults, simply because the illustrations are so beautiful.
|Storytime at the lake with my Aunt Grace and Cousin David.|
Some of you, like Lisa, are building libraries for your children. These (mostly) moms spend a lot of time reading with their children.
And still others are introducing their children to the local library.
|The first time I read "Little Women," I was eight and it was abridged. By sixth grade I was ready for the real deal!|
I spent a lot of time in the library as a kid. I could ride my bike down to the local library before we moved and then it was the school and city library. What a feast!
And Magazines? How Do they Play Into It?
I didn't ask about magazines in the post but many of you said you had the same problem with magazines as I do -- they are hard to get rid of, for some reason.
I've pondered this. I think probably the best strategy would be to rip out the pages I want to keep and say goodbye to the rest. And I do that -- but not often enough. They grow like tribbles. I have considered, and probably will, take some of more universal interest to my next doc appointment and leave them in the waiting room as an alternative to those who don't want to read "People" or "WedMD" magazine!
Here are some book tips for culling down your stack -- Do as I say, not as I do!
Many of you mentioned you are in the process of downsizing and bidding farewell to books. Some, because of moves, others to get a better handle on space in your home or simply because it's time to let go. Here are a few ideas if you're in that position -- and if you have others, add them to the comments!
- Share with a friend. Not a loan. Forever. Then it's their problem -- and they get to read a good book!
- Donate to your local library. But first, check to see what they want. They're not a dumping ground. Trust me on this! (Vivian Swift fans will know what I mean!)
- Drop them off into Little Free Libraries you might find on the street. (Good LFL etiquette -- ask the owner before you dump 20 books into their stash! They might have preferences!)
- With thematic books, check with related groups, such as an academic department at a nearby university (such as I did with that theatre student I mentioned above.) I've also passed on many of my astrology books and others that target specific interests.
- Check with local used book stores. Some will give you half of their used selling price or store credit.
- Try a yard sale. Not my cup of tea and no guarantees they will go, but if you're having one anyway, give it a shot. Price appropriately! I've found wonderful books at yard sales and more (possibly better ones) at estate sales.
- Try online sales -- Not my thing either and I've heard mixed results with this but if it's something you're comfy with, give it a go.
- Pull a few to use for craft projects and/or decor. Consider art groups that might do mixed media for some that may be particularly interesting.
- And if all else fails, recycle! After all, there may not be a big market for a 40 year old calculus book.
Meanwhile, you'll find me reading somewhere! Just don't interrupt me at the good part!
Sharing with: Let's Keep in Touch / Pink Saturday