Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Owning Books

When I don't know what else to write about, books are my fallback subject. I'm sure you've probably noticed this already. :)

Jeremy and I own a ridiculous amount of books. We both love to read and most nights you'll find us lying side-by-side in bed with books held in hand, reading. We go to bed early and we read. It's very peaceful.

While I love being surrounded by books, I do feel like we need to have a limit, particuarly because we are apartment dwellers. Frequently I peruse my shelves to see if there are any books I can part with. I don't want to own books just for the sake of ownership, once upon a time I think I felt like that. I'd say about two-thirds of my books, I've read. I have a large collection of children's books and a moderate collection of chapter books I loved when I was a kid. Throughout college I collected many books for classes, some I've parted with, others not. While working at the bookstore, I accrued so many other books; some I've read and passed on, others I haven't gotten to yet. As much as I love my books, I want to be deliberate in what I own.

So, this is my question for you, if you're a lover of books/reading...What is your criteria for shelf-worthy books?


Margaret said...

I get rid of books a lot because I hate storing them. I know myself, and I have reread a book maybe three times in my life. So, I keep ones I might want to lend out, but only if they are very worthy of it, or if I'd like to reference a book later, or if I haven't read it. We've confined our books to one large shelf and one small shelf.

sam said...

I also used to own a lot of books just because I liked owning them.
Now I only purchase books that I know I will want to read again and again, want to keep on hand to share with others, cherished from childhood, or will have a hard time finding again. I am trying to slowly sort through and part with books that don't meet those criteria.
Of course the exception is children's picture books. I fall in love with them and buy them because I love the art. My excuse is now that "i collect them" so that makes it ok :)

liz nelson said...

i still own way too many books and have not mastered the art of pairing them down. although i'm doing better than i used to.:) i have a lot of books that i have yet to read, so once i get through some of those, i may be able to get rid of them. better get on that...:)

Jeremy said...

I keep bks that strike a memorable experience, that cause me to think in a different way, or explode my mind with sheer wonder. I do have a snotty clingy-ness to the signed hardbound comic-art books, too. Lately, I have felt the need to get rid of "trophy" bks. Bks that give the impression that I have an interest that actually has long past. The only thing difficult is to know if a bk is done talking to you or will call you back later in life. Welcome ebay, empty wallet.

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