One thing about working in a book publishing job that I adore is the Free Book Shelf.
Recent titles I’ve acquired include but are not limited to: Money Sex War Karma. The New Writer’s Handbook: A Practical Anthology of Best Advice for Your Craft and Career. 100 Strokes. Kissing Dead Girls. The Unknown Terrorist.
All free. All mine. Sure, some are galley copies, but that doesn’t change the fact that free books rock, and I am a self-proclaimed book junkie.
Like all junkies, the activity spent acquiring and counting of my supply is three quarters of the thrill; indulging only a minute percentage. No matter how many books I have, I need more. I crave more. I have a rolling order open at the public library, with 16 books checked out and two on hold. I have a new dedicated bookshelf in the living room for copies I’ve picked up from work: whether from the free book shelf, or galley copies given to me of our new titles. In the bedroom, books are mercilessly stacked on the floor, teeming on the edges of the shelves, pushed two deep and as many as can fit on top.
My amazon wish list is insanely long, with over three hundred titles. I have other lists aside from the main one. We won’t go there. I started to organize and gave up. Sometimes, for fun, I just sift through and rearrange my wish list. Fills those empty hours.
At times, I will take three books (one from the bedroom, perhaps a library title and one from the free shelf or such) with me to the living room, so that I can read (all three?) from each at varying intervals.
When I was eleven, I checked out 30 books at one time from the library. The librarian sneered at me. “You can’t read all those in a week,” she fumed. I cocked my head at her, raised my eyebrow and wrinkled my upturned nose. “Can too!” I said.
And I did. Every bloody copy. Even if I didn’t like it. Because for her to judge me like that on my summer vacation when I lived for reading and reading waited for me in every ticking hour, was just plain dumb.
My new plan is this. I will devote a bookshelf to books I love and must keep, no matter how trashy.
I will devote another bookshelf to new books I’ve purchased or acquired for the thrill alone and need to get around to reading.
And then, the rest will be put in a “for sale” pile, to go up on half.com. I will pick up mailing supplies and upload the titles this weekend. Get some extra play dough for my efforts. Perhaps send a few books to friends.
And that might just clear up an inch of space in the apartment.