Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A book post

I think my 2008 recap/2009 outlook post is officially not going to happen...January is nearing its end. Oh well. The year ended with too much upheaval, I guess.

My latest project (other than breaking 70 miles for a week for the first time) is not in fact running-related, but book-related. The amount of time I've spent reading has fallen off a lot lately, and I miss it terribly. So I've been trying to set aside some time each day to read. As I do this, I am once again feeling buried by my mountainous to-be-read (TBR) list. Related to this, I seem to have experienced a shift in how I feel about my book collection. For most of my life, I collected voraciously and never got rid of any book. I always wanted to be able to go back and look at the books again, possibly reread them. Lately though, it's dawning on me that rereading books is a luxury that I cannot allow myself if I want to make any sort of dent on my TBR list. In general, rereading books, with few exceptions, is just not going to happen. There is also a possibility that we will be moving again soon, and I just do not want to cart all those books across town again. I am craving a clutter-free life. It seems selfish to keep them on shelves to gather dust when they could be out in the world being read and enjoyed.

I've begun the painful process, then, of letting go of my books. I've joined a couple of book swap sites (Paperback Swap and Bookins, to be more specific). I've also joined BookCrossing, and will soon embark on the journey of registering and releasing my collection. That will be quite a project. Since I'm mostly looking to get rid of books and NOT to acquire new ones, Bookins has been good so far since it offers free postage (you only pay when you request a book). I'll have a lot of credit there for the faraway day when I actually start actively looking for new books to read! I've already shipped out 15. Only a couple hundred more to go! I'm not sure how many I can realistically unload through that particular site, but a few to people who actually want them is better than nothing.

And of course there are books that I simply cannot bring myself to give up. So I will always have a library, even if I get my TBR list up to date. It will just be much smaller.
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