Independent Writing from an Independent Mind

Open discussion about writing and reading

What to do with all my books?

This is a question that had always dogged me throughout my life which was mainly due to the fact that I have lived a very mobile existence since I flew the nest. I having made homes in ten different cities in four different countries since 1985. I have always been a hoarder of books as I was also a hoarder of music. I am a major fan of both. Each time I have moved it seems that I lost loads of books and albums, not to mention having loaned a helluva lot of these out to have never been returned.

Now I am looking at the possibility of going mainly book free and it scares me a little and excites me at the same time.

I have been pretty public about the fact that after so many years I am finally, FINALLY, starting to read ebooks. When I reluctantly switched from my Nokia C-7000 (still a damned good phone) to my iPhone late summer I tested the waters by reading a few books on iBooks. And I was hooked! Now I own my own Kindle and am hoarding (and reading) loads of books again.

Oddly enough, I am reading more books than I did before – or at least in the past few years. Why? Because I always have books with me now. Always.

I read when I am waiting on a friend. I read at lunch. I read in the bathroom. I read on the airplanes, in the airports, on the Bangkok BTS (sky train), in taxis. And in bed. The bottom line is that I have found more places to read than I ever have before. And I am enjoying it. Last year, in Johannesburg, I bought a nice computer carrying pull along bag. I used to load it with six or seven books per trip. Not anymore.

So now what to do with my books? I realize that I have still to read several of them and many I don’t want to give up. So I am very reluctant to get rid of the books that are around my house. I also worry that if I got rid of the books around the house that I would discourage the children from reading. (Is that unfounded?) I have read several blogs from people who I have followed and respected who have claimed they were going completely "bookless" now and I have been thinking whether this is a real option myself, especially as an erstwhile writer. My mind isn’t fully wrapped around this yet. Going bookless could definitely unclutter my home and office. But I have always believed that the world was just so much better with books around.

Am I a dinosaur who is struggling against the inevitable or is my reluctance from a rational perspective. I think I will feel this out as I go along. But one thing I do know is that I am enjoying the hell out of ebooks right now and I am sure that this will continue.

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