Although I can commiserate with Amy Wilentz’s dilemma of overcrowded bookshelves in her essay for the New York Times Book Review – ...One Book Out, her decision to discard Carlos Ruiz Zafron’s Shadow of the Wind, one of my favorite books -without reading it – had me reassessing my own indiscriminate culling of books for lack of space. If Wilentz had inadvertently thrown away a treasure like Shadow of the Wind (maybe she didn’t mean it), what chance did I have to thin my shelves; just think what I might be missing.
If you think a candy store is tempting, try getting out of a bookstore with me without buying at least two books. On my last trip to Los Angeles, I decided to forego flying back with my neatly packed carry-on to load up on books at my favorite bookstore in West Hollywood. Of course, the books were available – online, by mail, probably in my bookstore back home – but that didn’t matter. Had to have those books, which now sit in a pile with other impulse book purchases in a corner next to my bookshelf.
Like Amy Wilentz, I own books I have yet to read, taking up precious space. Every now and then, I too try to thin the stacks. I mail books to a friend who has just bought a new house (empty shelves – happy birthday!) This works if I can get the book in the mail soon after I’ve finished reading; once that book claims its niche on my shelf, it may never leave again.
The thought of getting rid of a treasure Shadow of the Wind is what keeps me from culling my shelves!
Yes! Me too – woe is me, just bought more books on my travels.
Hi Rosemary, I do enjoy your book posts. If you ever want to donate books there is a new book store on the first floor of the Hawaii Kai library. Money used to support the library. Also my AAUW group sells read and unwanted books at our book club meetings to help raise money for UH scholarships.
Have you read Once Upon a River by Bonnie Campbell? My book choice this month for the AAUW book club.
Aloha, Suzanne Machbitz
Sent from my iPad
I have read Once Upon a River. Here’s the link to my review
Rosemary, you and I have a lot in common! On my recent trip up the California coast I stopped at 4 indie bookstores, bought a total of eight books that I have NO shelf space for. Furthermore, since I often read in bed in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep, I’ll probably buy several of the same books for my Kindle so I don’t need to turn on a light and wake my husband!
Wow! I never thought of replicating books on my Kindle – what a great idea!