Confessions of a bibliophile

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

An old Dave Walker which about sums up my state of mind, (and the state of the study) on this bright and sunny Bank Holiday Monday. Only in my case, it’s books which are threatening to take over the place. Don’t you just love the way ‘My Failings’ get given a category all to themselves. Even better, a googlesearch has just revealed that there are other bumbling bibliophiles like myself out there. Yes, there really is a blog out there called ‘Overflowing Bookshelf!’ I am not alone! Jessica, when I checked out Exhibit A I thought “But that’s my bookshelf!” Are you sure you’ve not snuck incognito into Maison Miffy with an Amazon package?

So, my dilemma is twofold: How to (reluctantly) find new homes for some of my collection (my Marketplace shopfront is creaking at the seams), and, in the longer term store and catalogue the remainder. I suspect the first will involve going through my inventory pulling out books which are simply not selling, and upending them into a large bag for the next charity drop that comes up. Alternatively, take them into the charity shops myself. Of course, I then run the risk that those of a more…’theological’ bent may get swept up by some well-intentioned soul and ‘offered’ back to the library at ‘Oldchurch.’ Who will then have to spend ages laboriously shifting through them before trying to frame a suitable tactful refusal without mortally offending the donor. And let’s face it, even Oldchurch won’t warm to the sight of my tatty old copy of TPDL, complete with cynical scrawlings in the margins.

Alternatively, suggest that ‘Newchurch’ start a library, then I can lend out those books which I actually value and want to read again. Well..?

Bookaid International don’t accept secondhand books anymore.

Otherwise, the recycling bin is the way to go. Oh dear. 🙁

Cataloging will be more of a long-term project, I think. But useful. For now I’ve begun a spreadsheet though I’m wondering about whether some of the online systems would cut out some of the hard slog. There’s a few pros and cons here. I already have Shelfari, though as I use it principally to display books on my other blog, I’m unsure whether it’s possible to have lists that don’t show up on it. LibraryThing looks to have more shiny bells and whistles. However, it’s only free up to the first 200 books. Hmm.

Either way, it’d be good to have some semblance of order, then I might actually get round to reading some of the stuff I’d fogotten I’d got!

6 thoughts on “Confessions of a bibliophile

  1. I have been donating many of my books to the local library; they seem grateful. Though I imagine their reaction to heavily theological treatises, and with cynical scrawlings , may be blogworthy. 🙂

    Best of luck. Especially cataloguing. I use Goodreads to write reviews; it may have some options for the cataloguing — you can create “shelves” and catalogue books by assigning them to them.

  2. I’m not sure our local library would appreciate them. Goodreads sounds worth checking out, though, thanks. Plus I’ll have another check of my Shelfari shelf when I’ve a moment and see what I can do. Anything to take the hard slog out of the listing process.

  3. A tip, Oxfam seem to be grateful from obscure books, indeed I once handed them an old computer text book of about ten years ago on an advanced topic my boss had not got around to reading, and nobody else in the department wanted (we are a computer department). They sounded grateful for this obscure tome.

    What they don’t want is light fiction.

  4. Ah, thanks for the hint. We’ve a local Oxfam, or, better still an Oxfam Books about 20 miles away. I might try them. Meanwhile I managed to drop a huge load off at the Sally Ann shop the other day. The study looks a tad tidier.

  5. Missed this post when you wrote it, but just found it. I’ve been using LibraryThing for years and find it very useful for keeping track of books for work. Entering most books is as simple as typing in an ISBN and choosing a library source (one of the British Copyright Libraries or Amazon usually works for me).

    Their life membership was only $25 last time I looked. I’ve found it good value for money, particularly once I joined the early reviewer scheme. On the other hand, the idea of people sending you more books might not be a selling point given your problems with storage!

  6. Thanks. I might give them another look, along with Goodreads. The reviewer scheme sounds interesting, but, for now, I’d best resist temptation! 🙂

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