My Shelves Overfloweth

I have a serious problem. All of my bookshelves (and I have many) look like the ones pictured. Or much worse. Besides that, there are the books stacked beneath nightstands, hidden in magazine racks, and shoved in various nooks and crannies.

Many are old favorites. Some not so much. Others are autographed by good friends, and far too many are waiting around to catch my eye.

So what's a book hoarder to do? Psst... Buy more bookcases, whispers my avaricious soul, but I know in my heart there could never be enough bookcases or enough room in my house to place them.

I know in my heart the time has come. Time to set some books free, from paperbacks (even autographed copies) I know I'll never reread to those I suspect, after a decent interval (years-long in many cases) will never get read in the first place. It's time to find new homes for hardcovers I've loved and loaned to friends and duplicate copies of the audio version of my own book. Though I've been holding on to most of the books I've used to research the historicals I've written, it's probably time to turn some of them loose as well. (Sob!!!)

So today I culled, at least a little, but rather than earn a few measly bucks of store credit trading in, I e-mailed a young mother I barely know save for the fact that she loves to read and has little money to buy books. She reacted quickly, gratefully, reminding me of something Joni recently wrote about so movingly: that of all the joys that books can bring up, it is sharing them that's best.

But lest you think I'm as generous as St. Joni, I still have hundreds of books left. As proof, I'll tell you that this photo was taken *after* I cleaned house. ;)

So, bibliophiles out there, how do you deal with the storage problem? Have you ever been tempted, as I have lately, to buy an Amazon Kindle or E-reader due to space considerations? And if you have one, do you miss the feel of paper-in-your hands, the smell the wafts up from fresh pages? And what about your eyes? Do they suffer from the screen-time?


Susan C said…
One word: Library

I borrow lots of books and audio tapes, and also buy used ones from Friends of the Library ($2.00 for most hardbacks. After I read them, I donate them back or pass them on to friends.

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