Lazy Sunday Thoughts on Book Keeping

What do you do with all those books? (♪ Early in the morning. ♪♫)

Yes, I realize that much of my storage problems are my own fault. I do not have to go to the bookstore or the used bookstore downtown. I could easily avoid it if I really wanted to. And I could say no to review requests from publishers, but they make it so hard. I am weak.

I have been saying no more and more but I still have all the books I stockpiled over the last 3 years or so. Some of them are ones I bought, others given to me by publishers. Here's the question: What in the heck do you do with them once you read them?

ARC (Advanced Readers Copies) are tricky since these are unfinished books. They also come with a disclaimer about how they are not to be sold. Apparently, there is a market for them on ebay, which I do not understand. They sometimes come without artwork, riddled with mistakes and I've had some fall apart as I read them. Some people are selling them for over a hundred dollars! Why in the world would you pay that kind of money when you could get the real thing for $20? Unless you're buying an ARC of Wuthering Heights, it's just not worth it. So far, I have a pile of ARCs in the closet and I'm scratching my head over them. What should be done with them?

Books that linger unread on my shelf for awhile are read, reviewed and go into one of 2 piles: Keepers and Lenders. The Keepers are ones I'd save from a burning building- right after husband, child and pets. They don't leave the house. The Lenders go off to family and friends. They might return to me within a year or so. Some wander off and disappear, with the lost socks I suspect.

The ones that come back, in various states of use, must go somewhere. It's like the song says, you don't have to go home but you can't stay here. I can't keep them all. So they get hauled to the used bookstore where I get store credit (for more books, you see the problem here). They get new homes on the island or in the hands of bored cruise ship tourists.

But for every book that leaves the house, I'm sure 2 more take it's place. Like I said, I'm weak. I have to stop going to the bookstore. Or start buying more ebooks.

Now that I have my ebook reader, I have another option for review books. Netgalley offers reviewers ebook copies of review books. They take up no space. The only problem is some of the books have a time limit and I can't always read that fast. As ebook readers become more popular, I think more publishers will offer ebooks as an option. Random House Canada has plans to do just that. Yay, for them!

So, do you have a book storage problem too? Do you have a solution?

BookBlips: vote it up!


  1. Books I didn't care for go to a donate pile for library or pile to give to my Grandma (she is a huge reader). ARCs fall into these catagories. If I like them, I keep them,,even if I buy a finished copy. But I don't accept a lot of ARCs so that makes it easier. Cuz I'm a book hoarder!

  2. I am a total book hoarder--I keep almost everything. I'll loan books out, but pretty much only to people that I know will return them. I'm pretty sure my apartment will collapse under the weight of all the books someday.

  3. I find it very hard to give books away. Most of those I own and have read stay on my shelves, even if I didn't enjoy them that much: I have a hard time giving them away for fear of wanting to reread them someday. Books I dsliked usually end up on bookmooch though & I'm trying to be easier in giving books away that I enjoyed, in sending them to other bloggers, for example.

    I loved your story on the used bookstore credit! It makes it all the easier to bring your books there, I imagine, knowing that you'll be able to get books in return.

  4. I'm a terrible hoarder of books, and it's only been in the last year that I've been able to get rid of books. I have so many shelves and books right now that my husband keeps telling me I need to get another job to pay for a house just for books!

  5. I have less than 10 books that I've kept, the others get given away to family or my local charity shop. I'm not a hoarder at all and don't think tqice about giving them away, I lose interest once I've read them aside from a few special books.

  6. I'm a hoarder! I'm currently looking to buy my own place. When I do, I won't have a living room. It will be a library.

  7. Of course, I have a storage problem! It's my understanding that you can give ARCs to charity.

  8. I've started to just give books away because I have too many. I'm a book hoarder, but it's becoming unhealthy to keep them because I also don't like clutter, so I think about whether or not I will read them again and if the answer is "no", I give them away. Better to send them to a new home to be enjoyed by someone else than gather dust in my own home! :)

  9. I'm the opposite of a hoarder but it's hard to find avenues to give books away. I donate to a couple of local charity shops (who are getting pickier about what they take), a homeless shelter and a hotel that is run for people who have to come to the city for long term medical treatment. I also use bookmooch although that has just ended up being a really expesnive way to give away books as most of mine go overseas and few people are prepared to send to Australia. But still I have more books to give away...

  10. Ugh, I definitely have the exact same problem. My solution is to buy another bookshelf. I'm not sure that counts as a solution, though lol.

  11. Take a deep breath. And don't kill me for this suggestion.

    And then throw away those ARCs. It is not a sin. It is not a crime. And falling apart books that you aren't going to read again DO NOT DESERVE TO EXIST.

    If throwing them away is too painful, then recycle them. I'm promising you, no one is going to die if the world is rid of books that are just wasting space.

  12. bookmagic- I'm learning to say 'no' more.

    Kelly- I am too, which is why I have a problem. ;)

    Iris- I've never done the bookmooch thing. Too expensive.

    Trisha- I am starting to get better. Though my keep pile is always bigger than I should be.

    Jessica- I wish I could be more like you!

    Brooke- I don't think my husband would go for that!

    Kathy- At least I'm not alone!

    Carin- That's true. I must start thinking that way.

    Bernadette- Yes, Bookmooch is not really an option for me either. Postage in Canada is crazy.

    Bookish- I've been looking for new shelves but I think that's just adding to the problem.

    Rebecca- I know you are right! I need you to make me toss them out. It's so hard!

  13. If I'm not likely to read a book again, I get rid of it. Period. I simply don't have space for everything. However, my main avenues for getting rid of books (Bookmooch and Paperbackswap) end up leaving me with as many books as I started with--just like your used bookstore problem, LOL. I need to just donate them to charity or give them away instead of trading them!

    And if a book is falling apart, I'm with Rebecca, it can go right to the recycling bin. There's no reason to keep them just for the sake of keeping them.

  14. My bookshelves were overflowing, so I started being a little better about passing on already-reads to my book groups.


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