1.27.2005

Yup, moving again.

This time, with 300+ linear feet of books, plus thousands of CDs and LPs.

So the question is, how do you manage this? What are your practices for keeping and disposing of media? Favorite silverfish anecdotes?

Past experience tells us we cannot get rid of these books.

I got rid of the langpo number of The Paris Review, the first edition / hardcover of FLOW CHART, the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, the early numbers of Sulphur, and leather-bound series of Trollope, Dickens, blah, blah, that used to be so ubiquitous at thrift shops and now cost several hundred dollars, as well as my collection of 25 cent paperback anthologies from the 20s through 80s, or that, with our penchant for library book sales, we'd just accumulate more.

What have you gotten rid of by mistake?

But, I mean, Stuart Dischell in hardcover? Could I eBay the Bauhaus book and read in San Francisco on the money? What do you have that perhaps you could get rid of?

Right now, I'm operating under these policies: if it is poetry, and costs a dollar, buy it; periodicals we don't have something in given to students; the lists of your publishers; if you've used it in making something else or teaching, keep it; if you're in a periodical, keep a copy, send a back up to Mom & Dad; if it is a book, keep 25 copies; give novels away after you've read them if you're not using them. [Last night, we were looking for Confederacy of Dunces. Where is it? Hah.] My husband has: if you are researching a topic, buy five-six books on it; if you've taught from an edition, keep it (we have five+ paper editions of each Shakespeare play). Multiple recordings of musical compositions don't help either.

What are yours? Are there any good ones?

New to this consideration: should we weed duplicates?

I'm also resolutely refusing to carry these books around to readings and get them signed, so they are not becoming some sort of valuable archive.

Any way to forgo having shelving built (I'm no carpenter) at great expense? We've tried building clever tables out of the really big books? Is it the only solution to the wobbly melamine in earthquake country problem? We're as peripatetic as living with literally a ton of books allows?

We know from experience the way to guarantee we'll enter a room two-three times a week for a few minutes instead of using it is to turn it into a "library"? We already go to the public library once a week, the problem's only worse when I have access to an academic library?

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