Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Parting (With Books) Is Such Sweet Sorrow

While a fair amount of readers have jumped on board the e-reader bandwagon, I’m still clinging to my shelves of books for dear life. Yes, I have a Kindle and I’m not afraid to use it (when there’s no other option), but give me a book with paper pages any day of the week. (Unless it’s Wuthering Heights, in which case I’ll probably throw it right back at you.) This borderline hoarder’s obsession with books has resulted in something my husband likes to gripe and complain about every time we move: boxes upon boxes of series, standalones, hardbacks, paperbacks, picture books, board books, textbooks, books, books, and more books. Booooooooooooooookkss.

We’re getting ready to move again soon and the hubs pretty much wants to push me and all of my lovelies off a cliff. (Truth be told, I can't say I blame him. Much.)
1st step: Admitting you have a problem. #NO

But moving is one of those times (read: pretty much the ONLY time) when I’ll force myself to cull my bookshelves. It’s torture, sure, but it’s also kind of necessary. Plus, it just makes room for more books! So, what to do with those unlucky few that have been voted off the island? (Disclaimer: There isn't usually anything wrong with them. In fact, they’re often books I enjoyed but in all likelihood won’t get around to reading again for whatever reason. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and moving requires making the hard calls. Ergo, some of the books have got to go.) Here are some practical solutions to the "problem": 

Drop in at your local library. If the books are in good condition, they might just take them off your hands. I know our main branch could use some beefing up in the YA section, so why not contribute to the cause?

Call up a school or two. (I say call because it’s not always the best idea to drop in. Stranger danger and whatnot…) Whether the library can use them or a teacher is looking to stock his/her classroom shelves, there’s likely a school that can use them.

Pop by the hospital and see if Pediatrics might like them. I did this during this year's Rock the Drop and the nurses were plenty happy to pass the books on to the kids.

If all else fails, swing by a used bookstore and offload the goods. Many of these shops operate off a credit system, so you just might walk out with new-to-you books! (I don’t suggest this if you're trying to thin out your book supply. Because: bad!)

Host a giveaway on your blog (or Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or Instagram). People love free books, so why not share the wealth? Sure, the cost of postage can be prohibitive, but thanking your followers warms the cockles of your blogger heart.

Do you have a friend or family member who might like a good read? Make their day with the gift of stories! Even better, lure them into the YA fold with your YA-loving siren song. Match a friend to a book: "If you like that, then you’ll love this!" Right?

It doesn’t have to be official Rock the Drop day; you can drop great reads any time of the year! Sharing your love of books with complete strangers is not only tons of fun, you never know whose day you're going to make, who you might get hooked on reading. (Caution: Try not to be creepy about it because this is 2013 and dropping strange packages in public places all shifty-like is HIGHLY inadvisable.)

The best way to feel somewhat okay about parting with your books is to know they are going to a good home, that someone somewhere might find joy in reading them. 

Why not do what I'm doing? Cull your shelves, share the wealth, spread the love.

{My name is Jaime, and I have a problem.}


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