My new rules for keeping books once read & GIVEAWAY!

It’s no good, my book mountains seem to be more and more like the Himalayas every day, new piles thrust up from spare bits of floor in the study, and existing ones seem to get higher and higher. I’ve probably got about fifteen years worth of reading if I can manage a hundred or more books a year!

There are two ways of dealing with this. Firstly to stop acquiring new books. Very, very difficult indeed! Stopping going to bookshops leads to more browsing online which is just as, if not more, dangerous, and the withdrawal symptoms don’t take long to set in, leading to feelings of books lost, never to be read. Secondly to deal with those I do read and reduce the number I keep. Now this is easier, but still requires some willpower, it’s all too easy to keep books you know you’ll never re-read just because the cover’s nice, or for some other reason.

So I’ve devised a draft set of rules for selecting the books to be sold, given away or go to the charity shop. Let’s see if they will work – I’m going to test them on a few boxes I have filled…

To make it more fun – I will give away the first three books to be culled under these rules. If you’d like to get one, (I will post worldwide) just leave a comment before Friday 13th Feb – there’s no triskaidekaphobia here! I’ll tell you what the three are at the end of the post. Now here are the rules:

I may keep a book once read if it meets one or more of these criteria:
· I rated it 9 or 10 points out of 10;
· It’s part of a series I am reading and intend to keep in its entirety;
· It’s a collectable edition, e.g. hardback firsts, Folio, illustrated, other special editions;
· It’s won a major prize, e.g. Booker, Pullitzer, Orange, Costa, Goncourt etc;
· It’s an important book in the history of literature;
· It’s by an author I collect (see list below);
· It’s a book I want to keep for my daughter;
· It belongs to a particular ‘reading trail’ or area of special interest, e.g. Russian novels, fairy tales, children’s novels;
· It’s signed by the author;
· It’s non-fiction and useful for reference;
· It’s a top-class hardback biography.

Authors I collect: Paul Auster, Ian Fleming, Iain Banks (not M.), Michael Connelly, and whichever others I gradually realise I am collecting.

Suggestions for amendment, additions, deletions and anything else useful to help me develop these rules further are, as always, absolutely encouraged – please do comment …

Now for those giveaways! All three are paperbacks in excellent condition. Comments with preference of title if any by Feb 13th when I’ll randomly select the winners.

  • Matt Haig – The last family in England. I gave this 8/10 V.close to being a keeper for this tale of a family’s disintegration told from their dog’s PoV.
  • Tracy Chevalier – Girl with a pearl earring. I loved this but don’t need to re-read it.
  • Jenny Eclair – Camberwell Beauty. Bitter, twisted, funny chick-noir in South London. 8/10

0 thoughts on “My new rules for keeping books once read & GIVEAWAY!

  1. Megan says:

    Looks like a good set of rules, though, if you were me, you’d probably find any number of ways to cheat! LOL. Actually, I’m pretty good about getting rid of books that I’ve finished. I know that I’m not much of a re-reader and rare indeed is the book that I would consider keeping because I think that I would re-read it, so I try to show my already read books to the door quite quickly, but alas, I still accumulate them faster than I read them. In the interests of accumulating books faster than I read them, I really am quite curious about The Last Family in England, so please do throw my name in the hat. Thanks!

  2. rhapsodyinbooks says:

    I also posted a giveaway of books I didn’t want on my blog, and it was very funny because no one ELSE wanted them either! :–) But I would also be interested in The Last Family in England. Thanks!!!nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

  3. Annabel Gaskell says:

    It will give me something to write about though! Honestly all three books offered are ones I enjoyed reading and rated 8 out of 10 or higher, which on my scale means an excellent well above average read.

  4. esther says:

    Looks like a good set of rules.You should join BookMooch as well – I saw you are with ReaditSwapit already, but with BookMooch you don’t have to find a member who will swap, just someone who wants your books, then you get points you can request any book on BookMooch with.

  5. Annabel Gaskell says:

    The only problem with bookswapping is that you don’t reduce the number of books you have, although with Bookmooch I guess you can request less than you swap …. I may have to investigate further! Thanks Esther.

  6. Chantele says:

    I just ran across your blog, and I have the girl with the pearl earring on my TBR list already! I would love to win that one!:)

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