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.
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