Saturday, August 6, 2011

Parting with Old Books

We’ve been clearing out old paperwork and de-cluttering for the past few weeks. It was incredible the amount of shredded paper we’ve put in for recycling. I’ve even managed to offload one of my filing cabinets to my husband, to make more floor space in my study.
It’s the books, however, that are causing me the biggest headache. The whole length and height of one wall is taken up with books of all kind: fiction, history, reference, old university material, gardening, cookery, children’s, and precious classics. I’ve really tried to reduce them by a third, but had to give up. Much as I love my kindle and all the e-books I now read, I absolutely adore print books. Just looking at them fills me with excitement at all the words and information contained within, while the old well-loved novels fill me with warm memories. And now I have the brand new print copies of my first novel, Dangerous Deceit, to add to the shelf.
So, yet again, I only managed to put aside a tiny pile of about half a dozen books for the charity shop. One of these days, I’ll have to be more ruthless as we’ll be downsizing sooner rather than later. But not quite yet. Meanwhile, I photographed some old books by one of my favourite authors from my teens and twenties, Mary Stewart, and blogged about her. And I’ll gradually be doing the same with a couple of others. The only trouble is that I now want to read them all over again as I enjoyed them such a long time ago. But I have so many new books to read that I’ll never get through everything. Guess I’m not the only writer to have this problem!
Romy Gemmell
Dangerous Deceit, available from Champagne Books, Amazon and Smashwords


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

You speak to my heart. We have overflowing book shelves in every room in our huge California ranch (in the middle of FL). Our three children are readers, but not of these genres.

I have begun to give away books to individuals whom I know will appreciate them. The shelves are still loaded, but I feel like I've sent some of my "old friends" to a good home, and more will find homes as time goes by.

Big Mike said...

We just did the same thing two weeks ago. Took us three trips to the dumpers and two to the abuse center (they love free books).

Really hated to get rid of em but we're going to downsize soon and figured might as well get started.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year, (2008 and 2009)

Annabel Aidan said...

I still have 200 boxes of books in the basement to unpack. I give books I'm disappointed in to bookmooch, but the rest, I keep.

Most of the time, as soon as I give a book away, I need it for something and have to go out and get it again.

Jude Johnson said...

My ideal house would have a Henry Higgins-type library, floor to ceiling with a balcony and a rolling ladder. Books were always treasures for me, and I just have a tough time giving up the ones that touched or influenced me. I read ebooks on my laptop, but there isn't that sense of "treasure" for me with an intangible.

Still, at some point I'll have to let the tomes move on. I'm just not quite there yet.


Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thnaks for the comments, Julie, Mike, Annabel and Jude - guess we're all pretty much in agreement about books!