Monday, December 28, 2009

Getting rid of books?

So I stumbled on this online debate at the Times about how to cull books from your personal stash/collection/library/unsightly pile. And I got to thinking a bit - I've only played with electronic book devices a little bit, but I can see how they'll be the future of the written word. So, I actually wonder if I'll have any books at all in 20 years - I pretty much only read books once (though on rare occasions I'll re-read something) and so most of the books that Sarah and I own are ones we really like that we want to have on hand to lend out or give away to friends.

I'm guessing if we actually went through our 10 shelves (or so) of books and kept only the ones we'd actually read again, we'd only keep 10%, if that.

Which, I guess, is a great opportunity for cheapskates - if you don't need the latest best-seller, I have a feeling used books are only going to get cheaper and cheaper as the snobs and geeks move to electronic devices. So I can actually envision a personal future with GIANT piles of old books, or alternately none at all.

I might or might not get a chance to do a post or two from Tucson, but I will be checking email and (sometimes) answering my phone if anyone needs to contact me. Back on the 13th of January. Happy New Year!


taryn said...

Can't imagine not having at least a few shelves worth of the real thing, but was surprised to find I'm down to four copy-paper boxes full right now. I don't reread much, but hang on to the reference books, collections and the sentimental stuff. Long live public libraries!

Anonymous said...

As long as Snickers is ok, I don't care about yout books!

Walt said...

Snickers had to spend Christmas in jail!!

But he's fine and was very happy to come home.

Anonymous said...

Buying used books is fine, but do not forget about the libraries. We have excellant libraries here with books, movies, magazines, etc. Borrow the books, take them back, no clutter, etc. And here membership is free, not to mention a ton of free programs for children too.

a slow drip of maple syrup said...

Think of all those stupid books you find so appealing that nobody has ever heard of, are you gonna be the person that transcribes it into a digital format?

Yada-yada, the future-whatever, you're still building steel triangles, very well made steel triangles, but steel triangles no less.

Anyways, it's just like some movies you'll only see on TCM, there just isn't the demand to warrant a public release. So once again, popularity wins the day, if it's good enough for Borg, it's good enough for you -- yep, we're all screwed.

Rusty said...

I'll be the one with a lot of books (as well as a bunch of late fees).