Tuesday, May 29, 2007

It's Not Personal ... It's About Space

Like a lot of readers, I like to pickup signed books. And like a lot of readers, I have a tendency to hoard my books until they spill over from most surfaces in my home. In the past couple of years I’ve had to discipline myself by holding the chaos to just one area of my apartment. Still, it gets out of hand.

One of my chores this weekend was to clean up my office area, which includes the growing piles of books. So with great sadness I had to weed them out. If books are read, they are donated to Sisters In Crime/Los Angeles for their monthly raffle, which goes toward deferring the monthly costs of meetings. Signed books are especially welcome.

Shortly after my first book came out, I started noticing used copies showing up on e-bay and Amazon, including personally signed copies. At first, this bothered me. But as I cast an eye over my own growing volumes, I realized it wasn’t personal. In most cases, it’s just a matter of space. Books take up a lot of space and space (especially in my apartment) is not infinite.

I packed up a lot of books this past weekend, and some of them are signed, some even personalized. A few special books from special friends I have kept, but pretty much the rule is, if it’s been read, it out. I’ve seen postings on author’s lists about this and how it bothers some writers, but the reader side of me understands fully. It’s nothing personal toward the authors of these fine books, it’s just about space.

So if any of you are thinking about donating or selling any of my books after you’ve read them, even if they are signed, go for it. In my mind, it simply makes room in your life for more of them.


twinsburg bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
twinsburg bob said...

Hi Sue,
Finding spaces for books is a never ending challenge. I know there is a desk in my library,
I'm just not sure where. One creative way I gain more space for my books was, when the kids graduated from high school, they received matching luggage, then I was able to take over their rooms for my books.
My daughter once said 'Dad you gave me away at my wedding, but you have never given away a book".
I'm trying to talk my wife into giving up her Royal Daltons and curio cabinet. I have a couple of sets of Sir Walter Scott that would really look great in the living room. i don't think I'm going to win this one. She Say's "how many sets of Scott does one man need?' I answer"How many are there?" It hard living with some one who is not a collector of books (my term, hers is pack rat).
I have to tell her I'm going to a bar, instead of a bookstore.
So you will never see any of my books on ebay, or Goodwill. Someday my kids will have the biggest gragage sell in ohio, With every box of book a complimentary Country Joe & the fish record album. Their revenge for the matching luggage.
twinsburg bob

Keith Raffel said...

I'm keeping as many of my books as I can. To paraphrase what Elvis sang:

You can burn my house,
Steal my car,
Drink my liquor
From an old fruitjar.

Do anything that you want to do, but uh-uh,
Honey, lay off of my books