Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ars longa, shelf space brevis

Originally uploaded by martin_kalfatovic
I've run into the problem of Newtonian physics in that space cannot expand infinitely, specifically, shelf space for books. I've been in denial about this, boxing books and tucking them into closets and storage areas, but the time came to face it, there was no more room for books in the house.

There are still a lot left, hundreds and hundreds, but also looking down the line where the future is shorter than the past (for mortal me that is) and also realizing that there were many books that I would probably, well, face it, never read again, why keep them around (especially when there are new items coming in?)

So, what do do? Wait, a solution! I got a Kindle, so, that means that I can still keep some of those odd books in my immediate life (like, the lesser works of Thomas Hardy) and those brilliant Dickensian door stops (Bleak House). As well as those curious baubles like the works of Verne, Wells, etc.

I was a bit like a kid in a candy store: every single novel, poem, etc. by Thomas Hardy for $4.97; all of Austen; Nicomachean Ethics!

Lots and lots more. Of course, there are lots of titles you still can't get in ePub (Faulkner, Nabokov, Camus), but it's just a matter of time.

And for those not on Amazon for free or low cost, there are uncorrected ePub version of many titles at the Internet Archive and elsewhere. Speaking of the Internet Archive, I'm looking forward to the "Books in Browsers" meeting later in October.

Will I miss those slowly burning (acidifying) copies of Hardy? Yes. Will I miss the glorious Penguin editions with their cover art? Yup.

So, off these (and a bunch more) either to friends, the library book sale, Goodwill, and yes, sadly, the trash (for those whose perfect bindings are no longer so and whose pages ex-foliate with each tender turn).

So, as some of these are disentombed from boxes where they've lived for the past number of years, I say ave atque vale. And see you on the Kindle.


xoxoxoe said...

Maybe the kid could at least use the broken down books for collage or something? I find myself in the same position/dilemma, but it's so hard for me to rash a book...

xoxoxoe said...

or trash one, either ; )