I have thousands of books.
Recently, since buying the Kindle Fire, I’ve been trying to assess which books I’d like to keep physical copies of, and which ones can just be digital. This question often leads me to assess whether I will ever read the book at all, and hard as it is, I’ve begun trying to sell off what I will never read.
I’ve started simply, selling off a number of Star Trek Pocket Books which are no more than bubblegum fiction. I like Star Trek (big shock) and collect Star Trek Comics, but Star Trek novels for the most part are pretty bad, and I don’t have time to read more than a few of them. They’re not collectible, and they’re just taking up space, so I’ve sold some (actually about 60). I still have at least 100.
There was a bookstore in Youngstown that unfortunately has since gone out of business called “Twice Loved Books”. As I understand it, the owner had so many books that at one point he simply turned his house into a bookstore. I think I’m well on the way to that path (so is my Dad).
Actually, this bookstore was pretty cool. Every closest, every crawlspace, every nook and cranny, was stuffed full of books. I think it had at least three floors, and the shelves of books were very close together (probably not a place for claustrophobics). It was a treasure hunt in the truest sense of the word. The owner’s cat would wander around freely, and often you would be scanning through a shelf only to see a cat staring at you.
I’ve been to a couple of places since that were similar. There’s a bookstore on 161 that used to be a church that’s pretty cool, as well as Acorn Books (very tight shelves there), and of course the Book Loft in German village (all of which my friend Brian and our wives explored a number of months ago). Probably one of the worst places for my collection was the library booksale at the university a number of years back. Before OSU rennovated the main library they had a book sale in which you could carry out a box of books for $5 and I must have taken out at least 4 (the kind you buy paper in).
I don’t know if the Fire or any subsequent device is ever going to change my love of these kind of places. I know there are a lot of people who get romantic about books, they enjoy the smell of the pages, the weight of something physical. I like that too, but for me I think I love browsing even more, feeling surrounded by the culminated work of thousands of authors. I must like it since I’ve basically recreated the experience in my own home.
What are\were some of your favorite places to buy books? Can you ever bring yourself to sell your books? How many places in your home are there bookshelves (for me all three floors)?