Skip to content
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Daily Kos)   How do you know what books to keep, and why isn't your answer "All of them?"   (dailykos.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Blog, Daily Kos, Daily Kos Community member, United States Senate, John Kerry, Matt Gaetz, Election, Daily Kos moves  
•       •       •

274 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 22 Apr 2021 at 3:50 PM (2 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



56 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | » | Newest | Show all

 
2021-04-22 3:54:19 PM  
The ones I've colored in I get rid of. The ones that need a ducky colored yellow I keep.
 
2021-04-22 3:56:21 PM  
I made a conscious effort to weed stuff out over the last couple of years.

Old technical books (mostly O'Reilly stuff) for obsolete language versions went into recycling.  Everything else gets donated to the Friends of the Library.
 
2021-04-22 4:01:16 PM  
The Q.s from the end of the article:
1. Do you "cull" your books like cattle from a herd? If not, how many volumes of Zane Grey or Louis L'Amour are still in your possession, cowboy?

2. Do you still shop book sales, in libraries and elsewhere, for short term "readers" or occasional long term "keepers?"

3. Are "To Be" or "Not To Be" too fraught to be easily contemplated when faced with TBR* piles? (*To Be Read/To Be Recycled)

4. Did your collections become an actual library?

5. Are those books around you organized in ways you could call collections?

6. Are you able to own books without books owning you?
 
2021-04-22 4:04:51 PM  
My copy of Atlas Shrugged is being used as emergency toilet paper.
 
2021-04-22 4:05:23 PM  
Mostly sentimental value.   The only books I tend to "read" now are hiking books, and they're all falling apart because they're cheap paperbacks.
 
2021-04-22 4:08:17 PM  
Since I am not a master of the mystic arts, there is only a finite amount of space in my house for books.
 
2021-04-22 4:10:13 PM  
I only keep the ones I really enjoyed on the off chance I want to read them again. Plus it's just nice looking at the shelves and knowing it's nothing but my favorite books. Anything I know for sure I'll never read a second time gets given away or donated.
 
2021-04-22 4:11:42 PM  

Esroc: I only keep the ones I really enjoyed on the off chance I want to read them again. Plus it's just nice looking at the shelves and knowing it's nothing but my favorite books. Anything I know for sure I'll never read a second time gets given away or donated.


Exactly this.

Only exception is that the past few years I've started buying some signed editions.  Those I keep all of.
 
2021-04-22 4:14:58 PM  
Watchoo readin' fer?
 
2021-04-22 4:19:56 PM  
Our family room in our previous house had one entire wall of built-in bookshelves.  It was great because both my wife and I had a ridiculous amount of books.  Our current home lacks that, so with most of our books having been in storage for about five years, a couple years ago we shoehorned the ones we wanted to keep into a couple of small bookshelves, and donated the rest.

Wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be.  Books have always been a pretty significant part of my life, but I've been reading ebooks exclusively for almost ten years now.
 
2021-04-22 4:21:03 PM  
Don't keep the mob's books.
 
2021-04-22 4:21:18 PM  
I did a bit of collection pruning a couple of years ago when I had to empty my bookshelves to move furniture for a new window installation.  Mostly authors I no longer cared for and material that hasn't aged well and I would not be re-reading at any point in the future.  That actually maybe only accounted for a 5% reduction in total.

My collection is currently in boxes in storage pending a move.  Might cut back more when I unpack.  Tossed away my sketchiest bookshelves in the move and I didn't have enough space for everything before.
 
2021-04-22 4:22:02 PM  
For the most part anything I can get/have electronically, the physical book gets culled (I volunteer with a local Friends of the Library so most everything goes there).  That takes care of 90% of any fiction.  A few with sentimental value are kept, but fiction gets culled fairly ruthlessly (SciFi 'not' included in that as we have quite a few older first editions from big authors).

Non fiction is harder as a lot of it is out of print/not available electronically (such as my military history books).  Most should probably be donated but...

Books with actual value to them (checked by looking at average prices on Abe.com) of $50 or more generally are kept.  I'd love to find a place that would buy them for more than five cents on the dollar, but I also understand why they don't want to pay more than that (slow inventory turnover among other things).

Oh well, if I put off doing anything about them for a couple more decades & it will be my kids' problem to deal with...
 
2021-04-22 4:23:11 PM  

weddingsinger: Esroc: I only keep the ones I really enjoyed on the off chance I want to read them again. Plus it's just nice looking at the shelves and knowing it's nothing but my favorite books. Anything I know for sure I'll never read a second time gets given away or donated.

Exactly this.

Only exception is that the past few years I've started buying some signed editions.  Those I keep all of.


I am definitely similar with signed editions. I also hold onto things I know are out of print.
 
2021-04-22 4:25:08 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-04-22 4:29:21 PM  
None of them, I donate or sell them when I'm done reading.
 
2021-04-22 4:36:24 PM  
1. Every time we move, a box or two never gets opened and re-shelved. When I remember they are in the basement, they go to the local library or Half Price.

2. I occasionally buy dead tree tech books (even though that stuff is all online too). When I don't need them anymore, they go to the local library.

3. My wife reads the occasional romance novel. They are one and done so they go to the local library or Half Price. Doing this less and less as the online library has tons of stuff like this she can read free.

4. I loan books out, sometimes they don't come back.
 
2021-04-22 4:39:18 PM  
Anything I can get digital editions of I toss. Especially before a move.
 
2021-04-22 4:45:26 PM  
Well, once upon a time, an English major married a history PhD, and our house is of finite size, so...

Tend to cull stuff that 1) I didn't like all that much the first time I read it, 2) isn't a rare edition/pretty cover/etc, and 3) am sure I will never read again.
 
2021-04-22 4:49:09 PM  
I am in lifetime recovery from a dangerous book addiction that lasted until late 2008. I had fallen so far as to get inventory software and a modified CueCat to scan and catalog my newer books with ISBN. Not sure how many I actually had as I had multiple closets with unentered or unscanned books. I suspect somewhere around 5,000. I now rely on the best socialism, public libraries. I allow myself work related reference books, and no more than five books for recreation. Five in and five out is the goal. I'm doing pretty good. I likely need to toss a few in the donation box.
 
2021-04-22 4:56:21 PM  

mybluemake: I am in lifetime recovery from a dangerous book addiction that lasted until late 2008. I had fallen so far as to get inventory software and a modified CueCat to scan and catalog my newer books with ISBN. Not sure how many I actually had as I had multiple closets with unentered or unscanned books. I suspect somewhere around 5,000. I now rely on the best socialism, public libraries. I allow myself work related reference books, and no more than five books for recreation. Five in and five out is the goal. I'm doing pretty good. I likely need to toss a few in the donation box.


Dayum.

Never knew anybody who did library science as a hobby.
 
2021-04-22 4:57:40 PM  
I've run out of space to be honest, and I'm not sure what to do with the ones I have. I've cleaned out the majority of the obsolete non fiction, the embarrassing (to an extent), and the airport paperbacks. Leaving me with a couple shelves of work related books, and three large units of assorted materials. My issue is that my wife refuses to get rid of her old outdated textbooks, and won't let me put them in a closet somewhere.
 
2021-04-22 5:07:42 PM  

nanim: The Q.s from the end of the article:
1. Do you "cull" your books like cattle from a herd? If not, how many volumes of Zane Grey or Louis L'Amour are still in your possession, cowboy?


Yes.

2. Do you still shop book sales, in libraries and elsewhere, for short term "readers" or occasional long term "keepers?"
Only if I'm looking for signed, first editions, or rare books

3. Are "To Be" or "Not To Be" too fraught to be easily contemplated when faced with TBR* piles? (*To Be Read/To Be Recycled)
I've stopped buying physical copies unless it's an author I REALLY like. ebooks? Bring them on. Space is cheap.

4. Did your collections become an actual library?
Defined by whom?

5. Are those books around you organized in ways you could call collections?
I'm an alphabetizing type of gal, rather than "by subject."

6. Are you able to own books without books owning you?
I do not understand the question.
 
2021-04-22 5:37:40 PM  

nanim: 1. Do you "cull" your books like cattle from a herd? If not, how many volumes are still in your possession?


Not really, and about 200.  There's a Little Free Library a few blocks away, and I put a couple of books into that last year.

2. Do you still shop book sales, in libraries and elsewhere?

Not really.

3. Are "To Be" or "Not To Be" too fraught to be easily contemplated when faced with TBR* piles? (*To Be Read/To Be Recycled)

No.

4. Did your collections become an actual library?

Sort of?  I did put a "searcht all the books I have and request to borrow one of them" web interface with a database backend together a while back.  It didn't get much use, because only a couple of my friends are avid fiction readers.

5. Are those books around you organized in ways you could call collections?

Authors are usually grouped.  All the China Mieville books are right next to each other, same for David Zindell, same for Richard K. Morgan, etcetera.  Other than that, it's haphazard and governed by size.

6. Are you able to own books without books owning you?

Probably?
 
2021-04-22 5:42:44 PM  
Subby, I don't know why you're so sentimental about these books on Visual Basic 6, OLE DB for OLAP, and FoxPro, you weirdo.
 
2021-04-22 5:43:18 PM  

FrancoFile: mybluemake: I am in lifetime recovery from a dangerous book addiction that lasted until late 2008. I had fallen so far as to get inventory software and a modified CueCat to scan and catalog my newer books with ISBN.
Dayum.

Never knew anybody who did library science as a hobby.


Seriously, it approached a psychiatric problem, rather than a hobby. In hindsight, a mid-90s flood, a 2008 hurricane and the great recession worked to remove choices I would have farked up.
 
2021-04-22 5:45:22 PM  
I gave dozens of books to Goodwill a decade ago and haven't regretted it except one pamphlet kind of booklet about the Royal Family that my dad gave me after a biz trip to London.  If you've seen it, let me know.
 
2021-04-22 6:07:07 PM  
Bought replacements of my old books that needed replacing. My book collection began at 4 years old.

/Military history and aviation
//my first memorable book was "Modern Military Aircraft" by Gunston, published 1977.
///nnnneeeerrrrrrddddssss.avi
 
2021-04-22 6:15:25 PM  
I only keep two sets of books.  One for the government, and ...

<huh?  what's that...>

Nevermind.
 
2021-04-22 6:16:01 PM  

danceswithcrows: China Mieville


I found a quote, by chance, that has become one of my favorites... by China de Mieville. It was just after I'd had major stomach surgery... and was feeling a bit down about my scars:
azquotes.comView Full Size


/now has several books
 
2021-04-22 6:18:43 PM  
Still got bags and bags of unread books from the beforetimes.  Thing is though, a lot of them are library discards, and while in decent-ish shape, they're not in the condition used bookstores or even Goodwill want, because they can't ask much for them.  A lot of times I end up just tearing the pages out and recycling them, throwing the cover & spine away.  The still-good condition ones I donate back to the library association for their sales.  We won't speak of the boxes of pulps that I bought primarily for their covers.  Maybe you can't judge a book by its cover, but you can judge the cover.
 
2021-04-22 6:25:51 PM  

Billy Liar: Still got bags and bags of unread books from the beforetimes.  Thing is though, a lot of them are library discards, and while in decent-ish shape, they're not in the condition used bookstores or even Goodwill want, because they can't ask much for them.  A lot of times I end up just tearing the pages out and recycling them, throwing the cover & spine away.  The still-good condition ones I donate back to the library association for their sales.  We won't speak of the boxes of pulps that I bought primarily for their covers.  Maybe you can't judge a book by its cover, but you can judge the cover.


Consider asking a local youth shelter or homeless shelter. A lot of them don't have things like that available. Covenant House often accepts things like that.
 
2021-04-22 6:30:10 PM  

bobug: Billy Liar: Still got bags and bags of unread books from the beforetimes.  Thing is though, a lot of them are library discards, and while in decent-ish shape, they're not in the condition used bookstores or even Goodwill want, because they can't ask much for them.  A lot of times I end up just tearing the pages out and recycling them, throwing the cover & spine away.  The still-good condition ones I donate back to the library association for their sales.  We won't speak of the boxes of pulps that I bought primarily for their covers.  Maybe you can't judge a book by its cover, but you can judge the cover.

Consider asking a local youth shelter or homeless shelter. A lot of them don't have things like that available. Covenant House often accepts things like that.


Good idea.  I remember, too, the county courthouse had a big shelf of donated books for jurors and potential jurors to pass the time.  But last time I got called, 90+% of the people there were slumped over looking at their phones.
 
2021-04-22 6:30:53 PM  
For fiction: If it's part of a series that I plan on finishing, I keep it. If I finish it and it sticks with me, if I can picture the characters continuing beyond the specific story, I keep it. If I finish it and the second the story is over, I stop caring about the characters in it, out it goes.
 
2021-04-22 6:45:29 PM  
I have some 300 shelved that I've read at least twice.  I'm around 800 on the Kindle.  I probably have about 50 both in print and on the Kindle.  I resisted the Kindle for years, now I find the print books smelly, dusty and requiring too much light to read.

I need to donate about a 100 of the 300.   Later.
 
2021-04-22 7:15:53 PM  

Ker_Thwap: I have some 300 shelved that I've read at least twice.  I'm around 800 on the Kindle.  I probably have about 50 both in print and on the Kindle.  I resisted the Kindle for years, now I find the print books smelly, dusty and requiring too much light to read.

I need to donate about a 100 of the 300.   Later.


I love my Kindle.  I've had all kinds of vision issues including 4 surgical procedures on my eyes over the last year.  If I am hypersensitive to light I can dim it. If I need huge text, I can do that.  And I have dozens of books on it that I want to read and hundreds that I've already read.  And it takes up the same amount of space as one thin book.
 
2021-04-22 7:37:06 PM  

mybluemake: I am in lifetime recovery from a dangerous book addiction that lasted until late 2008. I had fallen so far as to get inventory software and a modified CueCat to scan and catalog my newer books with ISBN. Not sure how many I actually had as I had multiple closets with unentered or unscanned books. I suspect somewhere around 5,000. I now rely on the best socialism, public libraries. I allow myself work related reference books, and no more than five books for recreation. Five in and five out is the goal. I'm doing pretty good. I likely need to toss a few in the donation box.


Cue Cat.....

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-04-22 7:52:44 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size


Today's finds.
 
2021-04-22 8:24:21 PM  
Several shelves reside within Chez Spldngs but the most important one (behind the toilet) appears to contain a preponderance of Sir Pterry, the Earthsea trilogy, Dune and other choice paperbacks. And at least one Far Side compilation.
 
2021-04-22 8:59:02 PM  
I did the KonMari thing last year, and my enormous bookshelf that still was too small for my books was a part of what motivated that.

I of course got rid of all books that I knew I would never read again. But that wasn't enough, and so then I tried just getting rid of all the book where it was less than 100% sure I would read them, with just a couple exceptions for books too rare/expensive to easily replace if I change my mind. I got rid of those and the result was a very full bookshelf but which, amazingly, contained nothing but books I would be happy to read at any time.
 
2021-04-22 10:03:34 PM  
I should finish (re-read fully) all those books I stopped three-quarters of the way though.
 
2021-04-22 10:19:43 PM  
When I picture my ideal living space, it includes a wall of books, and a study with walls of books. Sigh. Maybe one day.
 
2021-04-22 10:21:55 PM  
My wife likes a lot of YA books like The Mortal Instruments and The Last Kingdom series.
I have a lot of "pop culture" related books like Bond, Star Wars, zombies....

So while we have 100s of books on our shelves, I don't know if I'd want to do a Today Show Zoom interview in front of it, know what I mean?
 
2021-04-22 10:25:15 PM  

FrancoFile: I made a conscious effort to weed stuff out over the last couple of years.

Old technical books (mostly O'Reilly stuff) for obsolete language versions went into recycling.  Everything else gets donated to the Friends of the Library.


I hate to tell you, but the people outside are homeless.

Still deserving of donations though.

I tend to clean house whenever I move. And I seem to move fairly frequently. Gifts I always keep. And cookbooks are a big favorite. And then good novels, technical books, photography. Who knows.
 
2021-04-22 11:54:28 PM  
Books on tax law can be used to keep you warm in an emergency. It is known.
 
2021-04-23 1:59:36 AM  
We have culled ruthlessly over the years. The problem is that after so many trips to Powell's, donations to Books for Prisoners, and recycling for books ones that nobody's going to read we are left with ones that are long-term survivors. And there is no space one the walls for more bookcases. It's a problem.
 
2021-04-23 5:10:59 AM  
I've known some committed ranch owners who hadn't had a vacation since they got out of the Service and returned to the ranch.  They didn't dare take time away: who would take over all that stuff that needed doing in their absence?  The only people you'd trust to do that already had ranches of their own that THEY couldn't leave.

Clearing out your books is the same kind of trap. If you sit down and try to start sorting, you'll be re-reading another randomly selected book within ten minutes.  There goes your sorting effort; it's done for the day.
But if you ask someone else to do the sorting, HOW CAN YOU TRUST THEM??
In their ignorance they might throw away an irreplaceable old favorite!!How can you take that risk??
 
2021-04-23 10:30:08 AM  

FrancoFile: I made a conscious effort to weed stuff out over the last couple of years.

Old technical books (mostly O'Reilly stuff) for obsolete language versions went into recycling.  Everything else gets donated to the Friends of the Library.


I used to have the first DOS technical stuff. All the memory locations you could set or read. All the IRQs. Back when programming seemed like being able to tinker with a 55 Ford.  I don't know what happened to it. It's probably with my Kernigan and Ritchie C documentation.

As for getting rid of other books, I still have my Dad's boy's books. Pre-Hardy Boys stuff. We still have an aunt's early complete edition of Kipling. The ones with the Vedic swastikas on the frontispiece. I haven't programmed for a living in almost a decade and I still have .NET documentation. I never did understand a lot of the newer JavaScript extensions and macros. Maybe I'll go back and figure it out someday. [Dwight Fry-like laughter detected]

If the book is a novel or a poetry chapbook, we've still got it. Back in the 70s, we once entertained a poet for the night. A meal and a bed. That kind of thing. I was under the weather with one of my neck spasms. Crippling things. I'd get them around 4 times a year. She knew just what ailed me. Poets know everything, right? So, I let her work her magic on my neck. Cheezus. I'm surprised I can still walk. We got a chapbook of her poems for our trouble. It's still upstairs.
 
2021-04-23 11:01:24 AM  
OnEsroc: . . . Anything I know for sure I'll never read a second time gets given away or donated.

Only sensible answer.

OTOH, it's not hoarding if it's books.
 
2021-04-23 11:05:30 AM  
If I find a Harlan Ellison book out in the wild, I buy it and keep it, otherwise they are read and given away.  Except my Chem E and Math books, those stay.  You never know when you might need to help rebuild society.
 
Displayed 50 of 56 comments


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | » | Newest | Show all


View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking





On Twitter



  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.