Friday, July 24, 2015

The book buying conundrum

Hi, my name is Tracy and I'm a book addict.

Assuming most book bloggers have similar addictions, we all need to discuss something. The problem of lack of space.

In the last year I've gone from having about one and a half full bookshelves (the other half being full of movies) to having three completely full bookshelves and another that's half full. My husband is terrified of what will happen when we move to Florida next year and I have to willfully keep myself away from bookstores (it doesn't work).

It's a problem! There I am, walking through my local used bookstore, when I come across the second half of a complete series of books that I've never read. That's right - the second half, books 5-10. And I've never read the first five. But how can I pass up such a good deal! It will cost me ONE DOLLAR to buy all of these and they're in pristine condition! So I walk around the store for another 20 minutes talking myself out of it and finally convince myself to put them down. Because, let's be real, I probably won't ever read the first five books and the second five will just sit on a shelf looking pretty.

Which brings me to my real question(s): How do you decide which books to buy and how do you decide which books to keep?

Over the last year I've obviously gone on kind of a book buying binge. Lately I've been trying to cool my heels a bit though and think through purchases solely based on lack of space! Yes, I WANT to buy every book that looks amazing, but if it's available at the library, why would I buy it? So now I'm stuck at how to decide which books to buy. Should I only buy books with a lot of hype around them? Should I only buy books that are under a dollar? Or how about only buying books that I've already read and loved? But that seems silly, doesn't it?

Then there's the other side of the coin, which is deciding what books to keep and which to get rid of through giveaways or donations or selling. Should I get rid of the books I doubt I'll ever read? Or do I keep them just in case one day I regret having donated them? Do I keep all of the books I've read and loved, or only keep the ones I'll probably read again?

As you can probably tell, I'm at a total loss on this. I can hardly wait for the day that I have a huge library with enough shelves to hold ever book I ever decide to buy! But for the moment, I'm curious to see how others approach this issue!

Do you buy selectively, keep selectively, or are there piles of books on your shelves, floors, and tables?