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Monday, February 23, 2009

Bookaholics Anonymous

Our family is addicted to books and we both brought plenty of baggage (or boxes, rather) to our marriage. Brian recently told me that he is determined to be a bookaholic no more. We will still remain bibliophiles but -deep breath- relinquish our unhealthy hoarding of books.

Wilder succeed in, yet again, emptying one of my bookshelves yesterday so this morning I took matter into my own hands. It was a sign -I needed to start purging. This prayer I said aloud as I put Wilder in his crib this morning, "Now I lay you down to nap/as I unload a lot of crap...."

I emptied four books shelves. Count 'em folks: FOUR. I'm thoroughly impressed seeing as how some of these "treasures" I couldn't live without were from junior high that I haven't touched since (except to pack and unpack them as we moved a dozen times since then.) Guess what I'm going to do now? I'm planning a book party. I'll have friends come over and do a book exchange, the books we have leftover we'll donate to soldiers or a charity. I can't wait to send out the evites and pick the day! Who knew saying goodbye to "dear friends" (*sniff*) could be so rewarding!


Anonymous said...

So jealous we don't live by one another! I just did a dump to Titlewave and can use another purge of the house. I bet we could have a mean trade!!


Brian said...

I'm so far in "book debt" that it will soon be a mathematical impossibility to read them all in my natural lifespan. Plus, they make moving a b****. I'll be perfectly happy someday with a miniscule Kindle for reading and an MP3 player for music. Thanks to technology, my goal of eventually fitting all my material possessions in a single duffle bag is becoming closer and closer to reality. Now if only they can shrink down guitars...

It helps with the withdrawal pains if you try and remember the last book you've actually read more than once per decade. I can think of only a handful on my end, mainly classics that will never go out of date. I already suffered once through Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time. I'm not doing it again. Time for it to become history as per my bookshelf.

But keep in mind, a book swap or trade still leaves you with a net loss of zero books. We'll still be drowning in books, only they'll be different books.

That settles it. From now on, once I've finished a book, I'm setting it on fire. Burn, baby, burn!

Kelly Cameron said...

Yes, but with a book exchange I can select a CHOICE number of books that I will realistically read in the future. I will resist the urge to horde and instead implement my new goal of making reading a priority. I could take all of mine down to Half-Price Books and get a measly little amount as a trade, but why not get together with women who's tastes I trust and glean a better deal getting books I know I'll enjoy and get a better swap for? Makes sense to me. Plus, all one really needs is a good library and, thankfully, we have that.

Brian said...

My name's Brian, and I'm a bookaholic.

Yes, I was only half-serious in my previous comment. I actually think your book exchange idea is a good one.

I've also found that cataloging every book you've read helps to relieve the "ownership anxiety" of being able to relinquish one's books once you're finished with them. Seeing your list grow and being able to access the title and author of something you've previously read helps in the goal department as well as a useful reminder that if you wanted to go back and reference something, you can almost always find it in a library or at the bookstore.

I think the GoodReads.com site would be excellent for this, as it allows you to utilize the web to get all the details right, and lets you go back and add ones that you know you read a million years ago but no longer have on hand. I'm going to start updating my Goodreads profile with my entire life's catalog once I get home.

I can't wait to have my library whittled down to nothing but books I've already read and would read again in a heartbeat. The only problem is I own so many unread books that I don't think I'll be able to tackle anything current until the year 2058. And even then I'll still be working on things written in 1994. Where's a matrix brain-plug when you need one?

Kelly Cameron said...

Yes, Goodreads.com is an idea, but for those of us who just LOVE books -the physical presence of them- I think a written record in a "Book Journal" is the answer. Again, not as organized, though you can divide the journal into categories and therefore add SOME semblance of order. One book to represent hundreds. Or thousands, in your case.

And I suggest looking into getting a small fridge and porta-potty. I doubt we'll be seeing much of you once you get started on your book project ;)

Love you, Honey!


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