Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about a keeping books.
Do you keep all the books you ever buy? Just the ones you love? Just collectibles? What do you do with the ones you don’t want to keep?
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I could not possibly keep all the books I buy. I buy, on average, 10 books a week. I live alone in a three bedroom house that has bookshelves in most rooms. But, even so, I don't have the shelf space to keep everything. Here is a look at my bookshelves as of Jan. 9, 2010.
I only keep books that I think I will read again someday or books that are parts of a series or by favorite authors. When my shelves get too full I go through the shelves and remove those books that no longer qualify as something I might want to read again.
I read a lot of middle grade and young adult books. When I finish them I almost always donate them to the school media centers where I work. Since I am the librarian in charge, I can add them to my collections. I know that others have reported that books donated to their public libraries end up in the Friends of the Library annual sales rather than on the shelves of the library. I do keep some of the MG and YA books if they are by authors I already collect like Tamora Pierce or Sherwood Smith. I have probably already purchased those books for my media center with my school budget. If I buy the book, I will get to read it sooner than if I add it to a school book order and I gain the tax deduction for donating the book too.
The adult books are more of a problem. If I don't want to keep an adult book after I have read it, I don't know what to do with it. Turning it in to a used bookstore for credit doesn't really help me out. My local used books stores are genre specific. The one that does romance doesn't accept books more than a few months old and the other one only does science fiction. Also, I have a hard time using up the credit I receive because I probably already own anything that they offer that I might want to read. I have over $1500 credit at one used bookstore and no way to use it.
I would like to give the books away to people who might enjoy them but most of my friends are not readers. I know that there are internet sources to do that but haven't investigated them yet. I don't really want to swap books. I want to get rid of books that I don't want. I will admit that I have been throwing books that I don't want to keep in grocery bags and then throwing them in the trash when I'm tired of looking at the bags.
Now that I have a couple of blogs, I could hold contests. The problem is that the blogs focus on YA and kidlit and I already have a way to recycle those. I need to find and follow some blogs that cater to readers of adult books (by which I mean books not designed for children and adolescents rather than erotic books).
Any suggestions on ways to recycle the books that I don't want to keep on my shelves would be gratefully accepted. I hate throwing them in the trash but haven't found another way to get rid of them.