Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tastes that run hot and cold

I'm not talking about food-taste. I meant taste in books.

I've moved a lot in my life. A lot (like, 29 or 30 times). Around moves 10-15, I accumulated a lot of books. I dutifully moved boxes and boxes and boxes of books for the next 5 or 6 moves. I filled rooms, bookcases, and staircases with books.

In my last cross-country move (Move 25 or so), I weeded out a TON of books. I think I only moved maybe 5 or 6 boxes of books. When we did our last move, I weeded out even more, keeping only those books that I couldn't replace on my Kindle or ones which were so beloved, I felt I had to keep them. That brought it down to two boxes of books.

I've spent the past year going through those books and re-reading -- or not. I no longer have that experience of snuggling down in a big chair with a beloved book. Most of them don't interest me any more. A few books which I read and re-read now are boring or just don't intrigue me.

A few have remained keepers (Marion Zimmer Bradley; Daphne duMaurier; Martha Grimes). But the others have, sadly, gone to the recycle bin (they were falling apart at the seams). I did download them if I could, "just in case" I want to revisit. I have about a dozen to go, and then ...

Then I think I'll consult my list of "books to read someday" and start on them. I use Evernote to keep track of such things. Whenever I read about a book that sounds interesting, I fire up Evernote and jot down the name.

That stack should keep me busy for a while... let's see if I run 'hot' for any of the new titles.

J L Wilson
(30 books and counting)



8 comments:

Alicia Dean said...

JL, I admire your bravery. I cannot bring myself to get rid of my multiple shelves of books. But then, I don't move as often as you do. I have managed to do away with some that I wasn't particularly interested in, but the series by beloved authors, I just can't do it. Even if I have them on my Kindle. So...what's this Evernote? Sounds like something I might need.

Betsy Ashton said...

JL, I feel your pain. When my mother passed, I acquired her collections of well loved and well read books. I sorted them into three piles: recycle bin, Goodwill/nursing home and keep. I didn't think I kept that many, but when my husband and I made our last move (we threw out all packing boxes), I still had 96 linear feet of books. You read that right. 96'. I measured to see how many bookcases I needed. I'm now swapping books out using our library book sales and PaperBackSwap. I can't keep up. I admit it. I'm a book hoarder...

Jannine Gallant said...

I have quite a few old "keepers" too. But, you're right. A few I went back to re-read and couldn't get into. I was mentally editing out all those said tags and noting head hopping. One of the downfalls of writing is never being able to turn off the internal editor!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Funny you should all talk about so many books. I was just down in the family room on the treadmill, bored and taking in the two bookcases full I need to cull. Will I ever read them again? Doubtful. Still can't seem to part with them.

Allen Starbuck said...

I need to weed, but I'm not getting there very fast. Recently received a book from a friend my age who faces retirement in less than two years, keeps many books in his office at work, and doesn't have room at home. Mine are all at home (some in storage for lack of room in the house), but weeding is probably a project for this year.

Leah St. James said...

Hi, JL - My husband and I moved ten times in the first ten years of our marriage, and that was way before eBooks were a glimmer in anyone's eye. :-) It got to the point where I considered it a yearly purging of stuff we didn't need. I've been in this house for five years now and haven't purged lately, but you remind me that we're due. I like your approach as well. I mean, if you're not going to read the book again, and it doesn't hold any sentimental value, it's time to go!

Diane Burton said...

I totally understand. Last year, preparing for our LAST move (and I mean last) I culled my books. Hubs took boxes and boxes of hard covers and pb books to our local library for resale. We didn't have to pay (by the pound) for the weight and somebody will get to read my books. Win-win.

glenys said...

You're very brave! Parting with books is hard, but lately I admit I've been cleaning out the bookshelves, slowly, yes, but doing it. So many are books I know I'll never read again.It helps that a couple of community groups I belong to have started a book exchange, which means I can drop books off on the book table and then, if panic sets in, I can go and 'borrow' them back. Just call me a book wimp.....