Everyone who's guilty of owning obscene amounts of books, please raise your hands. Well, alright, a free hand will do as the other one is surly holding on to a book. But seriously, looming and towering stacks of books adorn the homes of many of us book addicts and sooner or later the question is whether to go for a suspended ceiling (and consequently develop a hunch, because this reduces the height of the room considerably) or to get rid of books.
Yes, rid. You read that correctly.
Admittedly I'm often joking about the suspended ceiling, but unfortunately it's not a very realistic scenario for my apartment. My preferred alternative would obviously be to have my very own library in an old turn of the century house, but well, funds are a little low for that. Add the fact that such a library would deserve the finest hardback editions and not paperbacks that, often bought used, look like they've been dragged through half the continent before being shelved.
So we're back to the option of getting rid of books. I'm certainly not talking about all books, mind you. Books from my favorite authors and generally books I love will always have a safe place on my bookshelves, but then there are those that I read once and never look at again. And over time these start to take away much needed space for new books. You get the idea.
So I'm doing two things. I sell them and/or I give them away.
After fighting off the initial separation anxiety, I one day started selling books. And when I realized that the pain wasn't all to bad and how it not only translates into free shelf space but, even better, leaves you with money to purchase new occupants for said shelf, I was hooked. Of course this whole selling and buying and selling again thing is a bit of a catch-22 but you won't hear me complaining. Why would I? I love books.
Apart from selling I also give books away. You know the kind of stuff that's a serious shelf hugger? Well, that goes for books as much as for any other item that no one wants to buy. That means that over time I get sick and tired of waiting for sellers and give whole boxes of books away for charity. I will usually give other things away too, like nick-nacks or DVDs. The emphasis is always on trying to maintain at least a small walkable path through all rooms and not to transform this place into a junk yard of the papery kind.
Now I wonder, how do you cope with your own book mountains?
I'm really curious how other book lovers deal with this, so let me know.