I had not thought we would get to the heart of this blog so soon! I thought that since it was the middle of winter and I was not being confronted with yard sales and boxes of books in people’s garages and driveways that I was safe from this anger and dismay at people who just toss books.
Although, on a side note, I’ve decided that calling them tossers is quite accurate in British terminology. Apparently the term has changed to be synonymous with the word “wanker” and any self-respecting Brit would be happy to show you what that means with graphic hand gestures. Well, all the Brits I know, that is.
Back on topic – I was surfing blogs today and someone mentioned throwing away books! Throwing away books!!! That’s bad enough to make me use exclamation points in triplicate!!! I think I need a xanax.
By all that is holy, man! (In this case, woman!) Don’t throw it away! Don’t get discouraged if a used book store won’t take it! There are lists of things you can do with books that you don’t think are worthy to live in your home. I have this odd brain glitch where I cannot get rid of a book I have read or want to read. If it is not a book I want to read or keep, I have a list of creative things I do to find them loving homes. Until then, I clean them, store them vertically – on shelves – and look for more poor, neglected books. Call it a life mission, if you will.
I know, I know. Some of you readers are thinking “this woman doesn’t know what she’s saying. One day she’ll have too many books and start weeding them out.”
I say in return, “Bosh and nonsense!” Currently, 1500 books live happily in my home. Nearly 200 of them are being fostered until they are adopted out either through BookMooch or Bookins. I have plenty more room for more volumes, and in fact, my Christmas present from my husband this year is a set of built in bookshelves that will span the length of an entire wall in my guest bedroom. Being it will only be 9″ deep, I won’t lose a lot of floor space, and I’ll have tons more room to take in biblio-refugees.
Here are the only ways a book should ever be thrown away:
It is infected with the black plague – otherwise known as mold. This is irreversable and mournful, but it has to be done. Moldy books cannot be allowed to infect other books and normally they are too water damaged to be readable anyways.
Severe water damage. Water and books don’t mix, friends. Please don’t let your books be drowned because severe damage cannot be undone and some inks will not hold up. I lost one of my favorite books because I left it in the bathroom floor and our shower curtain leaked and drenched it. I’ve also rescued books where people tried to save water damaged books and only created hiding places for the black mold because the book wasn’t allowed to dry completely before being stored.
The book has been read so much that all the pages fall out and scatter around your feet when you pick it up. To this, I say, good for you for loving a book that much! Then, if you can part with it, you can toss it and buy a new copy. Me, I’ve only had this happen once but since I’m a bit on the insane side, I sat in the floor and put all the pages back in order, put the cover back on the book with a rubber band around it and put it back on the shelf. Then I bought a new copy for reading. That book is Moonspun Magic.
There are other reasons due to damage and misuse, and sometimes the book is outdated and no one – and that means you’ve looked and really no one – really wants it, that it’s ok to throw it out. Just know that it saddens me, friends. There are alternatives to tossing books. Remember: Creativity is a blessing!