I have always loved books. Beyond even my love of the written word, I enjoy surrounding myself with books, accumulating them at a far faster clip than I can read them. That’s okay to a point; books don’t have an expiration date, so I figure the paperback novels I bought on, say, summer vacation in 1975 remain perfectly fresh on my bookshelves, awaiting their proper time and place.
But even my packrat passion must have its limits. Last year, I reduced my comic book collection by about half. Recently, I went through my massive library of paperbacks, hardbacks, trades, comics collections, biographies, pop culture histories, literature, pulp, and all other manner of non-periodical publication, and I started winnowing.
I’ve done this before, of course, but this time I tried to be a tiny bit more ruthless in making cuts. It’s not a matter of what brings me joy; having all these books near me does bring me joy. Nonetheless, I filled several bags and boxes with books that will soon seek a new home elsewhere.
And I’m getting rid of a lot of things I would keep if I had room. While I couldn’t quite bring myself to part with my Mickey Spillane novels or most of my various superhero pulp paperbacks, my James Bond and Ellery Queen novels are going, a lot of books I’ve already read are going, and a lot of my comics collections are going. The fact that so much still remains is testimony to how much was here to begin with.
(There were, of course, many books that I would never even consider getting rid of, including anything by my favorite writer Harlan Ellison. This is a cleaning spree, not a suicide pact.)
And now I’ve carved out a little more personal space. I’ll still be buying books, but I intend to keep the sheer volume of my collection within a manageable bulk. The pictures you see in today’s blog post depict books that I’m keeping for now.
And no, these pictures don’t quite show all of the books In own. But believe me: it was a much bigger stack a couple of months ago.
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