Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Paperback Swap Update

Some of you probably read my post about joining Paperback Swap and the feeding frenzy I found myself in within two days. You might even be wondering how it's going now that things have calmed down.

Quite well, I'm happy to report. I've listed a total of 179 books on Paperback Swap. 99 are left, which means I've mailed out 80 books. Of course, being the rabid bookaholic that I am, I've also been requesting books, and have received 25. That still means that I have 55 fewer books on the shelves than I did two weeks ago. Not bad, eh?

Yesterday I walked into my library to do an initial scout of books with which I'd be willing to part. Yes, you heard me. I have a room that's a dedicated library. When I went looking for a house to buy, that was one of the three criteria I had: fireplace, swimming pool, and a room suitable for wall-to-wall bookshelves, a comfy chair and a lamp. I got all three, but I have thirteen more bookcases in the rest of the house. (I have photos of them further down on the left sidebar of this blog. I know how insatiably curious bookaholics are about each other's books.)

I have all my books neatly lined up at the precise edge of each shelf. Looks better that way, and less visible dust. (My grandmother's the one in the family who caught the dust before it had a chance to land.) It also allows me to see at a glance if anyone's been at my books because book browsers in this house never put them back the same way. (Yes, I'm sneaky.) As I went through the contents of three large bookcases, I pulled out each book I want to list on Paperback Swap so that it was over the edge of the shelf about an inch. Large sections of only three bookcases are now hanging off the edge of a cliff. I thought that might disturb me. Books have always been my favorite item of interior decoration. They've always been my friends. But once I made the decision to pare down my library, my mindset completely changed. Now I feel good about sending these books out so that others may enjoy them as much as I have. Books really aren't meant to hibernate on shelves. They're meant to be touched, opened, read, thought over and enjoyed. If books are really my friends, I need to treat them as such.

If I do manage to release at least half of my library into the wild, I'm going to have empty bookcases. It could be that all my books will be housed in the larger bookcases in the living room. What? An empty library? How in the world would I repurpose the room?

An exercise room?

I think I'll go lie down and take a nap....


  1. Glad to hear your PBS listings are working out so well for you.

    I feel the same way when I clean out a closet and can give away clothes/toys that we no longer use. It's great to know that someone else is enjoying them.

    I also put my books at the edge of the shelf; it looks neater (I never thought about the dust factor!)

  2. I have a friend who believes that dust is a protective coating!


Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!