When you buy books, do they immediately go onto your bookshelf to wait until you’re ready to read them (even if that means months/years from then!), or do you read them right away? What makes you do this? If you’re a ’shelver’, why do you think you don’t read the books right away? Do you ever feel guilty for letting the books sit there, unread? If you’re a ‘read-em-now’ person, why do you feel they have to be read right away? Do you give away the books when you’re done, too?
Have I mentioned I am more than a little OCD? I cannot stand having my things, especially my books, in piles scattered throughout the house. Therefore, I am not ashamed to say that I am a ‘shelver’. What’s worse? I shelve my newly purchased books in a completely different section in my bookshelf, so that the unread books are kept completely separate from the ones I’ve read. It isn’t so much that I won’t read them right away. I just cannot stand clutter. It keeps me sane.
Do I feel guilty letting them sit on my shelves, unread? Absolutely, positively not! In fact, seeing all those glorious books waiting to be read and the unlimited possibilities and potential they hold fills me with a special kind of joy that most bibliophiles will understand. I actually start getting nervous when I am down to less than ten unread books waiting for me, as if the lack of choices might prevent me from finding a book I truly want to read when I go to select a new book.
Do I give the books away when finished? It depends upon the book. If it is a classic, then I will keep it. I have special bookshelves devoted specifically to classics. I honestly have not met a classic I haven’t’ liked for some reason or another, and I like being surrounded by a touch of history. If the book is more modern fiction or non-fiction, then it depends on how much I liked it. If I truly liked it and can see myself reading it again, then the book gets a spot in my permanent library. If it was okay or I did not like it, then I will either give it away to friends or to Goodwill. I will even go and purge my library every few months to make sure I truly want to re-read everything that is there. Anything removed from it gets the same treatment – either friends or Goodwill.
Thanks, Mizb17, for continuing the tradition during the holidays!! You just made my Monday a little brighter!
Now, it’s your turn! Are you a shelver or a read-it-immediately kind of person? Why? What compels you to do either? What do you do with your books when you finish them?