Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Book Dilemma Solved

I had a major dilemma yesterday. We are moving mid-January to a house that has the same amount of space as we have on our main floor now. The new place has no lower level. Here we have a completely finished lower level with 4 walk-in closets for storage. So you know what must happen.

Sift and Sort! Purge! Sell! Give away! That's what we're going through right now. The new house will have less space for books and that became my problem for the day on Tuesday. I had no trouble making a stack of already-read books to give to our local library for their used book corner. When I came to the books in which I had stories published, it was another matter.

I put them on the dining room table in 4 stacks--over 30 anthologies. Should I save them or get rid of them? Where would I send them? Library? Sell at my P.E.O. meeting with half the profit going to the chapter? Put them in a box in the garage? If I saved them, where would they go in the new house?

Next thought was Why do I want to save them? Did I want to let the world know I'd written something in those 30+ books on display? Or was it a matter of self-satisfaction? As I mulled these things over through the day, I finally came to the conclusion that self-satisfaction ranked at the top of the list. Passing by the table and seeing the books made me happy. They were evidence of a goal achieved. The meaning they had was for me and me alone. Or so I thought.

Later in the day, I told my husband I had a problem. He stopped what he was doing and listened as I explained about wanting to keep the books but fearing there would be no room. Should I keep them or get rid of them? I asked him, near tears at that point.

The darling man immediately said I should keep them. He walked me into our office and pointed at the three shelf bookcase. I can replace that with a four or five shelf bookcase to put in our new office. He knew that the books meant a great deal to me. No wonder we've been married so long!

And so the downsizing continues. There are other things I will get rid of but not the books which hold my stories. For me, they are treasures.

How about you? Do you save copies of all your published works? Or do you get rid of them with no feelings of regret? Sure as it's Wednesday today, I know I'd regret it if I had tossed my books to the winds.


  1. Keep, keep, keep! Of course, my stack is much smaller than yours, but the decision is still to keep. They represent too much work to discard. :-)

  2. Nancy,
    I have the same dilemma with my paintings. If I think they are good enough to sell, it's like selling a part of myself. Yet, nothing makes me happier than to see someone else enjoying them. So I sell, and I give away - and hopefully make others happy too.

  3. Takes some soul-searching, doesn't it?

  4. I've moved this past year into a tiny shoebox of a senior living complex...I mean tiny, tiny. I gave away thousands of books to local libraries and to Goodwill. I kept the 100-plus anthologies my stories are in, and they are in a low and wide bookcase, taking up two full shelves. And my big flat screen TV sits on top. So every evening I look at the assembled books and great that I have stories in all those books. I never would have guessed I'd be able to do that when I started writing for anthologies just eight years ago. Part with them? No way. Not while I'm alive.

    1. Hearing the comments from other writers makes me know I made the right decsion. It IS great to look at those books and know I had a part in them.

  5. I'm glad you decided to keep them. They're both a remembrance of the hard work you put into them and if they make you smile, well, that's reason enough to keep them.