Thursday, November 18, 2010

Not Enough Room to Contain Them All

So it’s back to storing books.

I don’t like it. It’s like having to pack my best friends in apple and copier paper boxes and stuffing them, Harry Potter-like, into the closet underneath the stairs. But the study overfloweth with books; there are books on the floor running the risk of getting ruined, so I’ve got to do something to get them of the floor and better protected.

There’s the obvious storage solution, one that many of my more tech-savvy friends suggest with regularity: If you bought e-books, you wouldn’t have this problem.

How so, I ask – even though we do have a Kindle in the house, along with two iPod Touches. The problem is that I buy used books almost exclusively. And until there’s a brisk used e-book market where I can pick up out-of-print or gently-used new fiction for less than $2 a pop, a heavy investment in e-books isn’t likely to happen.

Stop buying used books, you say? No, no. Can’t do that.

So to keep books off the floor and from popping off the shelves, I’m taking those off the shelves that I’ve read and re-read and read again, and those that I’ve recently read and am not likely to re-read for a while, and putting them in storage, in the meantime getting off the floor the new-to-me books I haven’t read yet. We have an entire wall in the study we could turn into bookshelves, matching the other wall that’s entirely bookshelves, but I’m not sure I can convince Michelle that’s a good idea. Especially when I’m pretty certain I could fill the new bookshelves without having to buy a single additional used book. So much is the pity.

I could be brave and do as CS Lewis did – he donated all of his books to the Cambridge University library, knowing full well he could go to the library and take out a book any time he wanted without having the trouble of storing them all. But given that I don’t have the clout CS Lewis had, I’d run the risk of going to the library and seeing all of my donations on the “for sale” table, putting me at the risk of having to buy my own books back.

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