They day of the garage sale came and went, not a single book sold. This was surprising to me. They were all in good condition, reasonably priced; who wouldn’t want to buy books on discount?
The next weekend we decided to hold another sale (different location) and ONE book sold. ONE book! My money making scheme failed, at least as far as the books were concerned, so I considered keeping them. After all, perhaps it was a sign that all of the books that I have acquired since my childhood should remain with me and one day be a part of my personal library.
After a bit more thought, I decided I did want more books for my someday bookshelf-lined room, but maybe not these books. So I took the thirty book limit in to a local used book store for trade.
When I walked in the door a feeling somewhere between ecstasy and horror filled my chest. There were LOTS of books, which is a good thing, a very good thing; but there were so many books that it was immediately clear to me that it would take years to actually find a specific title.
Well, I’m always up for a challenge.
I turned in my box of books and began to browse. There were three different rooms, and there were bookshelves in each room. I think at one point, perhaps at the very early stage of this idea, there must have been organization. Now there was an attempt at keeping books of a particular genre together, but that is where the organization ended. There were stacks, bags, boxes, towers, piles of books EVERYWHERE. There were so many books that I could barely see the books that were on the shelves. These were stacked vertically to allow more books on the shelf, but were not together by author or in any kind of alphabetical or numerical order. I searched and dug and very nearly lay on the floor trying to see titles around the various bags and piles. My obsessive compulsive side kicked in pretty hard and I tried to put a few series together in one stack at least. I even asked the very nice store owner if she was looking for help, even a volunteer, to organize the rooms. How much fun would that be to simultaneously dig through thousands of books and organize them? For me… a lot! Well, I did manage to find a few treasures and I’m sure I will return for more, but this experience raised an interesting question in my mind.
Are you a book collector or do you read them once and pass them along? In either case…why?