25 June 2008

What to do with your old books?

I have a book overload, too many books, not enough bookcases and an endless desire for a library not a house.

Some of the books are never meant to leave, occasionally (very occasionally) I might lend them to close friends that I trust will look after them and keep them safe until they are rehoused on their shelves.

Others are on a transit only, either picked up cheaply from a second hand shop, or given to me by friends to pass on when I had read them; some are purchased as part of the book club I belong to and I have to buy them but they don't belong in the category of 'want to read again'; some are impulsive purchases, reading the back cover made me want to buy them but having read them they fail to grab my attention.

So what to do with them? I don't want to throw them away, nor do I want to send them to a jumble sale/charity shop where they might languish on shelves only to be later pulped for recycling when they don't go (though that conjours up the thought - would that be correctly labelled as pulp fiction?)

Well finally I have found something which is intent to amuse as well as pass on some of these books to other readers namely book crossing (click here for more information). Each book is given an unique id which is put on a label and set adrift in a location which is registered on a database and other readers can look up a location and find a book. Sort of like a free treasure hunt I suppose.

If you find one of mine, be sure to let me know.

The ones I released to go travelling today are :
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Luiz Zafon
  • The Discovery of Chocolate - a novel by James Runcie
  • Case Histories by Kate Atkinson


Kathy G said...

I've also released books on BookCrossing. I've yet to "catch" one, though. I think that would be fun.

MeHereNow said...

As I was reading down the post my head was yelling "BookCrossing,BookCrossing". I've "found" one and after both my daughter and I read it was "lost" it again. I think its a wonderful thing. The woman who released the book I found was not far away at the time and watched my son pick up the book - was a bit freaked out by that at the time but after a couple of e-mails she didn't scare me so much!!

Elaine said...

How could you not keep the Zafon book? Mine is in my permanent collection.

I shall look up book crossing - sounds intriguing.

Sage said...

@Elaine - I feel much the same way about all my books, but I don't have the space for them all on my bookcases. I want them to have caring homes where the new owners love them as much as I did and book crossing is a bit of an experiment for me as it is a bit of an unknown quantity.

ps - I liked it too, it's just that I don't know I wanted to re-read it.