Brought to you by the site Booking Through Thursday, each Thursday readers are asked a question (mainly book related) and answers are shared.
This weeks questions are:
How do you organize/store your books? Do you go through them often? Or do you pretty much just shelve them and then leave them alone until you need them?
My life can be categorized by moves. In New York, where I spent my first 21 years of life, we had a room with an entire wall filled to the brim with bookshelves. This, however, was just the extra books of my mother and my old childhood books. In my own room I had a bookshelf packed just as well with what books I devoured as a teen and young college student. When we moved, however, we were working within a budget. We were moving everything we could that had filled our home over 22 years three hours away and we couldn't shell out the cash for large moving trucks or any of that. So we downgraded with our books: going through what was in the spare room and donating what books we could. Garbage bags of books, actually, although I was able to keep most of mine we got rid of a ton.
Pennsylvania had us living in a smaller house with a lot less book space and yet, after graduating college, I went wild with buying books. New books, old books, used books; it didn't matter because I had to have them. However, I also quickly ran out of space. No matter, it wasn't until I began to plot my move to Virginia where I would have even less room for books (my room is about half the size as what I had in PA) that I realized my collecting habits of books would have to change. It was with that I began going through the books. While before I would let them sit on the shelf until I needed them (or just so they could collect dust because I had no intention of rereading them) I began to donate the books I was sure I would never read again. If it was a book I wasn't certain of, I'd keep it. But there were books I had purchased, read, and hated and really there was no point in keeping them. Once I knew what books I was going to get rid of I offered them to friends - glad to see them going to a happy home. The rest went to the local library.
I never thought getting rid of books would be somewhat relaxing; while we were donating books in NY I would literally cry upon coming home. It felt like I was giving up a favorite playmate. But gathering what I wanted for VA it was different. Maybe I matured, I like to think that's the case, that I realized that for these books I had no interest in at least someone else would benefit and possibly have a world of fun with the book I rejected. So currently my book collection is like this: all the books I have yet to read. I left the majority of my beloved books in PA in favor of taking the ones I hadn't read yet to VA. I'm slowly making it through that pile and deciding what to keep and what to get rid of and while that pile slowly lessens I keep calling my mother, "Hey, could you go into my room and look at the bookshelf... yeah, there should be a copy of Capture the Castle on the bookshelf. Could you put it in the pile of stuff you'll be bringing down when you visit?"
While before I felt that I was abandoning my beloved treasures I now feel like I am making a home for them as I sweep away the books that I don't really care for and make room for my most memory filled articles of literature.
Wow, that was a much longer reply than I had intended!