Thursday, February 24, 2011

What Do You Do ... With Your Books?

My current (and always growing!) giveaway pile!
Last week I stood up and admitted that I have a problem: even though I have more than enough books to keep me reading for a couple of years, I can't stop buying them! I used to have more self-control but lately, and I think it's all the book love I read about on blogs all the time, I can't stop!

So now, I want to know: After you've read a book, what do you do with it? I think most people fall into two camps:
  1. They save each and every book they've ever read, creating their own personal library. 
  2. They love 'em and leave 'em. After reading books, they pass them on.
So which are you? Shall I tell you which am I? I used to be a number 1, saving every book I read (unless it was el sucko) and immediately putting it back into my bookcase. Maybe once or twice a year I would notice that I no longer had room on my bookshelf so I'd do a clear out and take them to a used book store and swap for more books but for the most part I saved books I loved for years, whether they were 'classics' or not.

Then I grew up and moved state and no longer received familial help with my boxes. When you load everything your life contains in one Mazda, you weed through your books. When you live in a tiny room to save money, you weed through your books. Then I started to make money again and my habit escalated to undue proportions and I discovered paperbackswap.com and, well, the rest is history! I read a book and swap it ... for another book! Unless it's a 'classic', I don't keep it. I don't have the space. I have space only for books that I am going to read next because guess what? Unless it's a classic (and yes, Bridget Jones's Diary falls into this category) I have never, ever re-read a book. I give my books to friends if they want to borrow them after I've read them with the expectation that I won't get them back. Why? Because 9 times out of 10 I don't get it back. I used to be so upset but hey, if I've read it and I'm never going to read it again, if you love it let it go! And of course this all works out for you, as I offer books I read up for giveaway too. It's for the best really.

Yes my dream, someday, would be to have a large personal library that is it's own individual room with a plush velvet couch where I can lay all day but right now, that is not my life! So this is where I am at. Lugging around the 75+ books I read a year for the someday, isn't a way forward for me. I prefer the possibilities of the new, the unopened, because there is always the lure of that next great classic in there.

So yes, the question remains, what do you do with your books once you've read them?

24 comments:

  1. I used to keep all of mine too, but lately have been donating them to charity.

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  2. I do put some up on bookmooch, but only the light ones cos shipping is so expensive..therefore I can only hold giveaways for light books too. Oh it sucks.

    I'd love to share more of the books I have read

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  3. When I was younger I used to keep all my books, because I didn't buy that many. These days I, like you, can't seem to stop buying them! But living in a very small flat means the space is limited, so I try to pass along at least some books through BookMooch, BookCrossing or as giveaways (I've just started doing the latter). But like Blodeuedd said, postage is very expensive, so I can't do this with as many books as I'd like. I have lots of books I wish I could pass on to new owners. The only ones I want to hang on to are the ones I really loved and might want to read again sometime.

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  4. I am actually exactly the same as you (well... almost). Especially after I found Paperback Swap! However, I do keep books if I liked them. I am still holding out hope for that personal library someday, and although I also don't re-read enough, I want to have all of my books there. I also love to lend books to friends (and I put a bookmark reminding them that it is my book inside the pages, as well as write down whom I've lent what to... and no, this does not mean I get them back, haha!).

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  5. I'm very big into Paperbackswap - for the past 3 years, I've loved having them as one I can pass non-ARCs on to. ARCs, though, I will do as a giveaway, or maybe even donate them to a blog tour company. Otherwise, I have so many...I need to donate them to charity as well, such as hospitals and other places.

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  6. I'm one of the rare ones who really dislikes print books. I read them, but usually only ARCs or library books. If I could afford to only e-read, I would. I can always get it again from the library if I want it, and I rarely re-read books. The last time I moved across the country (I've done it far too many times), I donated all my books to the Planned Parenthood book sale. Still, as a book blogger, I've managed to acquire five boxes worth (that I just donated this week.) Ugh.

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  7. Wow - you and these fellow bloggers are much more disciplined than I am. I simply can't give up my books - not even the ones I haven't enjoyed. (They just go at the back of the bookshelf). And terribly - when I find a book I want to give away as a present, I tend to buy two copies - one for me and one for the receiver. I'm currently waiting on all my boxes of books to arrive having been shipped to Canada from the UK. I think I take after my mother - and the only way my father copes with her collection is to build more bookshelves!

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  8. I'm a "distributor" -- I try to think of someone who will like the book and pass it on!

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  9. I trade some of them through goodreads bookswap (which I like better than the other sites because you only pay for shipping when you request a book rather than when someone requests a book from you)

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  10. I'm for sure in the first camp. I have a library, and it gets used a lot.

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  11. I'm in the first camp, I keep all of my books, even though I have NEVER re-read a book, there's so many books out there to read I always feel like I'd be missing out on a fantastic new find if I was to re-read one. I have started lending books out though and there's very few that I get back. Unfortunately I just lent my mum a few from my TBR pile and she's given them away!!!

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  12. Like you I used to be a number 1. Now my shelves are full and I have to get rid of what I read. I either donate to a book sale, pass on to friends, donate to my school's library, or do a give away on my blog.

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  13. I only keep the ones I really want to keep like Terry Pratchett, Nevada Barr and non-fiction ones. Some I take to a used bookstore and get store credit to buy more books later and some I donate to the library

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  14. Only a rare few of mine EVER go back into a bookcase once its been read. I use PBACKSWAP, donate them to the library booksale, or pass them on.

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  15. I keep them. Almost all of them. If I HATED it, I'll get rid of it. Other than that, I probably won't.

    But, I do reread, a lot. And, I want to have a big library for my kids to chose from when I start having kids.

    (Did you know, kids who grow up in homes w/ lots of books inside statistically will do better on all testing in schools?!)

    I'm definitely, firmly in the keeper camp. I love having tons of books, and looking at them on the shelf. So lovely!

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  16. Well, Paperback Book Swap has helped me recover from my book hoarding ways. I also pass books on to either my daughter, sisters, or book club. The only books I keep are my loves (Fannie Flagg, Sarah Addison Allen, Adriana Trigiani, and a few others) because I do reread books. But now I enjoy passing others on to good homes.

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  17. I SO want to say that I pass my books on but right now they go back on my shelf. I am hoping to convert soon as I have so many books everywhere I am becoming overwhelmed. Wish me luck!

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  18. With few exceptions, I pass them on. I have a good friend with similar reading tastes so we trade books back and forth and also put them up on PBS or donate to Housing Works. Living in a NYC apartment has made me very aware of what I keep.

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  19. i used to be number 1 but that was back in the day when i didn't have a lot of books and i re read the books i do have because i was too lazy to go to the library. but then space definitely became an issue i had to start getting rid of them. i used to volunteer at the children's hospital so i donated a lot of books there and i've recently starting swapping books too. i'm actually waiting until spring break so i can clean out my bookshelf and get rid of all the non classic books.

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  20. I keep only my very favourites. The rest go on bookmooch.com (postage is pretty cheap in the UK) or if they're not moving on there after about a month I'll take them to a book exchange where they might give me some credit for them.

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  21. I'm trying to give away SOME of the books I have read. Not very successful yet but trying.

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  22. I'm a hoarder, so I pretty much keep them all (unless there's one that I really didn't get on with). That was pretty much my reason for getting a Kindle, so I wouldn't keep gaining piles of books... but I'm still buying paperbacks and hardbacks, it's jsut than I'm now also buying ebooks!

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  23. I'm still in the keeper camp, but have run out of room so need to start sharing the booklove. It's harder than I thought,as I don't want to let any of them go!

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  24. I built my library up to over 4,000 books and then donated most to my library's used bookstore a few years ago. Since then I've built up just a few hundred. I save most books unless I don't think I'll read them again and then I give them away or donate them. I'm pretty sure someday I will have over 4,000 again!

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