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Tuesday, February 09, 2010
title wave

I've spent the last week plus picking up, dusting off and determining the fate of EVERY BOOK I OWN, which takes a long time. I was able to pinpoint the source of my troubles as I sorted - it was that den of temptation, The Title Wave Bookstore. (pictured above.) It's a great old Carnegie building that used to be a branch library and is now where the library sells books weeded from its collection. DANGER! Especially since I was a regular customer when they first opened and everything was even more ridiculously inexpensive. There was a period of several years when I used the Title Wave like I use the library now - if it looked interesting, I'd drag it home. This netted some really fantastic old history and art books, but also a lot of shelf-filling stuff that has not stood the test of time. (mostly paperback mysteries from authors I never really liked but they were a quarter and I didn't have the internet and I needed to read something.) Ruthlessness is called for! I have four outgoing piles:

1) try to sell to Powell's . I've never actually sold them books before! But I did a little research and discovered that if you take store credit, you get 20% more. I don't know if they'll take what I've got, but if they don't, that's okay because I'll just donate it to…

2) Friends of the Library: This organization has two big annual sales and lord knows I've been to a lot of them. I know all the good stuff is usually gone early, but I have weirdo things I look for like poetry and now Martha Grimes in hardback. (she's written a lot, so it's still pretty easy for me to find at least one thing I don't already have.)

3) Paperback Exchange: Every library location has a section with what we call "bring 'em backs" - they have no barcode and circulate on the honor system. They're mostly mass market paperbacks (mysteries, thrillers, romance) but occasionally there'll be something different. They're all donated from the community. Since what I'm getting rid of is primarily paperback mysteries, most will fit into this category. (Powell's doesn't buy a lot of mass market paperbacks, so I'm not even going to try.)

4) Recycle Bin: some of these books are falling apart and if I donated them anywhere, they'd get chucked out. At least this way I know they'll get put in the right bin!

For all of that piling and tossing and donating, there's still room for indulgences - I kept a group of mysteries that featured a particularly stupid detective inspector but he happened to have really great covers. (is that shallow? I guess I'm shallow.) Several years ago I never would have believed it, but this weeding process has been very positive - I let go of stuff I didn't want and made room for things I DO WANT. Now to carry this method over to other areas of my life!

moving books around
-from midway through the new shelves and sorting progress. Piles in front of shelves. I think I kept about 95% of everything you see here, more or less. It was the double stacked paperbacks BEHIND those paperbacks on the shelf that got the chop. It's all in completely different order now, though. There's still some double stacking going on.

nine coaches waiting
I think I found this at the Friends sale - it's from the cover of an early 60s paperback of Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart. Doesn't she look like a plucky young governess? ha ha ha! More like an early Dynasty Krystal Carrington, but I love her still.
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