As writers, we can be overwhelmed with books. Not only with all the fiction books and non-fiction books we love, but with the Craft Books.
Some Craft Books get read more than once. They get underlined, dog-eared and sticky-noted. Others never get read, although, you really believe you will read them, one day. I have a very popular Craft Book still in its shrink wrap.
Craft books can be useful, to a point. But we need to put words on paper to become writers. Some people never get around to putting words on paper, because they are Readers of Craft Books. Other people are writers. I know a very popular writer who has never read a Craft Book. She’s intuitive and disciplined and driven and creative, but she’s not a Reader of Craft Books.
And then, there are the novels. Some of them are autographed. Some are written by a favourite author. We may not like all the books of that favourite author, but we keep every one of them.
The majority of our books are not autographed and don’t belong to the “favourite author group”, but they still become Keepers.
And now your prime bookshelf space gets crowded. How many Keepers can you keep? The one-time Keepers go to the garage sale. Or the recycle shelf at the grocery store. Or they are lost forever in the box under the bed.
There’s an interesting site that tells you how to release a book back into the world. You label the book with a special code, leave it somewhere, and allow someone else to find it. The finder also finds the code which they can enter on the computer, allowing you to watch your book’s travels.
I doubt that many re – releases of the book happen, but it’s possible, in theory. The site explains the process well and it’s worth a look. http://www.bookcrossing.com/
But sometimes, there just is no letting go of a book. I love this quote by Anatole Paul Broyard:
“Reading a book is only the first step in the relationship. After you’ve finished it, the book enters on its real career. It stands there as a badge, a blackmailer, a monument, a scar. It’s both a flaw in the room, like a crack in the plaster, and a decoration. The contents of someone’s bookcase are part of his history, like an ancestral portrait.”
So, what do you do with all your books?
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I have yet to become a reader of craft books. Actually, I have yet to become a buyer of craft books, though there are a couple out there that have caught my eye.
As for my relationship with books, they also serve another purpose for me: a way to connect with friends and family. I have become a lending library due to the vast amount of books that are piled on my shelves, and to share the joy of reading is another pleasure to me.
Shanna – be careful of craft books. They make you second guess yourself and they can interfere with your muse. As long as the words are flowing, just keep writing.
I love the idea of your being a “lending library”. Do you “book plate” your books? Do the books get returned?
LOL! I don’t “book plate” them and they normally do get returned. I actually have a spreadsheet of all the books, movies and games that we own and it gets updated maybe once a year. But if someone borrows a lot and I think I may forget, I mark it on the spreadsheet after they leave!
You’re very organized!