Monday, August 14, 2017

A Book Purge

It might seem strange that in a year when I'm definitely going to set a new reading record--by a lot--and when I have a job where reading is a large part of it and where I can get any book I want from the fifth largest publisher, that I should be thinking so much about purging books. After all, I did buy a new bookcase! But, that bookcase is 80% filled with sales materials that I'm going to get rid of over the next few months. I do have one shelf of Macmillan books that are by no means required reading (they're all backlist! The horror!) but the rest are last season's ARCs, this season's ARCs (two shelves), and marketing materials.

Still, why should I be getting rid of books? And yet I am. We had a yard sale last month, and I shipped out two large boxes of books to friends. And I have been buying next to nothing.

Well, partly it really is that whole thing where I have access to any books I want from Macmillan's publishers. Yes, it's work, but when your company publishes around 3500 books a year, it isn't at all hard to find 100-150 you'd really, truly enjoy. Having to read books for work is no chore at all. And the reading of these books will only make me better at my job, make it easier, and hopefully get me more in bonuses! So that's lots of incentives. And that means I really am enjoying all the Macmillan reading I'm doing. I have motivation to do it coming at me from all sides. Is there an occasional dud? Inevitably. But that's true no matter what I'm reading--book club books, or just plain fun. Without the bad ones, we'd lose the scale to remind us how good the good ones are.

So I am looking suddenly at reading almost nothing from my shelves. For the foreseeable future. Seriously, if I read 5 non-Macmillan books from my shelves between now and the end of the year, not counting audiobooks (those often are kind of random and not exactly what I'd choose if I had access to every single book as an audiobook), I'd be surprised. Which means, the 500+ unread books in my house that I often joke about, go from being 5 years' worth of reading material, to 100 years' worth. Yeah, I'm not going to get to them all. So I should pass some of them along to people who can read them and enjoy them, and make a little space in my life (and so I don't feel so guilty.)

And it feels good. I can't read all the books in the world. I can't even read all the books in my house! But now the ones I have are a tiny bit more reasonable.

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