Every time I move, I end up sloughing off a few boxes of books. After my husband helped me move a huge collection from my apartment to our new condo over ten years ago now, he declared that he was never doing that again and I needed to pare down in a big way. I’ve since frequented the local library way more than clicking BUY on Amazon, but I still have my favorite books that I can’t bear to part with.
Before this past move, I donated about 50 books. As I’ve slowly been unpacking boxes these past four months and arranging the bookshelves in our new office, I am sorting again. I’ve sold some and I have large “to donate” stacks in the garage. Now I get to arrange what remains. I just love looking at my books, remembering where I was when I read it and what it meant to me. They are comforting to me. Notice that the favorites above are well-worn (and alphabetized… I never said I wasn’t obsessive. Yes, I had to alphabetize them just for the picture!).
Anyway, the point of this post is to solicit your advice. On a slow work day a few years ago, I began compiling an Excel file listing every book I’ve ever read, excluding childhood titles. I used Amazon’s recommendations and also Library Thing, a free online bookshelf which helps you create an inventory of your books. It also takes one book and suggests others similar to it, which was very helpful since I’d read most of those too!
I came up with a list of about 700 titles, anywhere from Democracy Matters (Cornell West) to Due Considerations (John Updike) to Gone With the Wind (Margaret Mitchell). So the question of the day is: should I spend time updating the list to include what I’ve read since my daughter was born and said list went by the wayside??? Admittedly, it’s mostly parenting books and light fiction. Of what value will this be for me? Could you see that it might be worthwhile to have such a list?
Addendum: Check out my new Books, Books, Books page above and let me know what you think.