Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Break up the Books - Bye Bye My Beauties

This step of my personal downsizing project is probably the most emotional for me.

I am and have always been a book lover. A book isn't just a stack of paper with a pretty cover. It is a doorway to another world, another side of myself. Books are not only linked to memories of the story itself, but also of the time in my life when I read them - and for books I owned before I could even read - memories of my imaginings on what the book could have been about. Plus, as an author myself, and one with many friends in the industry, I have many, many signed copies.

For these reasons, when downsizing my book collection, I have given myself certain liberties. Of my personal belongings, books and memorabilia can be stored in the US while we are in Chile. But even so, my collection could do with a bit of pruning.

So, here's how I handled downsizing my book collection:

1. Open the box (I have at least 20, waiting for my someday home library), or take the book off the shelf.

2. Ask myself these questions when evaluating: Do I LOVE this book? Is it signed? If I have not read this book, will I read this book? Is this book a limited edition? Is it difficult to find in a library or a bookstore? Did someone special give this to me?

3. If I answer "no" to all of the above, it is fair game to remove from the collection. These books can be brought to the used book store to exchanged for credit or other books.

(Caption: Some of the books I'm taking to Chile to read to Olivia.)

The Results:

I ended up with 8 boxes in storage in the US. These contain my absolute most favorite and beloved books. With the books I culled from my collection, I obtained massive credit at the used book store. With this credit, I was able to buy hundreds of paperback picture books and chapter books to bring to Chile for reading to Olivia.  Books are expensive in Chile and books in English aren't easy to come by, therefore, I packed 2 large storage tubs full of books to sate the voracious reading appetite of our five-year-old. I also packed one tub of paper books for myself - roughly 30 books. I plan to read a combination of these paper copies and e-books via Kindle and B&N.

(Caption: These are ARCs - or advanced reading copies - that I picked up at the PLA - Public Library Association - conference in April.)

Follow my progress in downsizing my possessions: Slash the Stationary.

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