I have over 15,000 books, and this year I finally parted with about 2000 mystery novels both hardback and paper. Which to choose to vacate my house was a difficult decision. The first batch were mysteries I know I'll never read either because of the author or topic. The second batch were mysteries I've read and don't plan to reread and are not by my favorite authors. I donated the books to the library, sent books to our troops overseas, and distributed to several hospitals. I also put out a good number of mysteries for my bookgroup to enjoy. Still, I haven't made a dent, as the accompanying photo of a portion of my office will attest. Although it looks a jumble, I know where every book resides.
The Editors at the NYT asked several bookie types these very questions. If you haven't read the following article, I know you'll enjoy it and identify with it. Of course, after reading the article, I realized there were a lot more books I 'need' to buy.
How do we decide what to cull and what to keep? We asked some authors and the owner of the Strand book store for advice.
- Francine Prose, author of “Anne Frank” and “Reading Like a Writer”
- Billy Collins, former poet laureate and author of “Ballistics”
- David Matthews, memoirist, “Ace of Spades”
- Joshua Ferris, novelist, “Then We Came to an End”
- Jane Smiley, author and novelist, “Private Life” (spring 2010)
- Chang-rae Lee, novelist, “The Surrendered” (March 2010)
- Fred Bass, Strand Book Store
So what books are you parting with this year? How did you make the decision? I welcome comments.