Alicia Martin Biografias

When things go very wrong for a booklover. (“Biografias” installation art by Alicia Martin – check out her site for more great art!)

I’m planning on moving later this year. This big decision comes along with an even bigger one: what the hell do I do with the 300+ books I have crammed on my shelves.

It’s been many years since I’ve had to do a “proper” move. In fact, last time swapped homes, I convinced my former landlord to store my stuff for the sole reason of not wanting to move my books. Those books are still there, FYI… and do not include the hundreds of “keeper” books I have at my mother’s! Some might say I have a problem – but I disagree. There is no such thing as “too many books”… but there is something called “not enough bloody space”.

So I’ve decided to clean house… well, this house at least. I am looking at what I own already, comparing that to what I have in digital format and then being ruthless about it. Basically: unless it is a signed edition or has a super-gorgeous cover, it is leaving the building. (Yes, I am making decisions based on cover art – I am superficial that way.) I am also putting an end to paper ARCs and charity book shopping, because that way lies even more madness.

This is really hard for me, because I absolutely adore my “dead-tree” editions. As much as I love the convenience of ebooks, nothing quite replaces the feel of a book in your hand. But sometimes you just have to think practically. I ordered about 4.5 kilos worth of comic books the other day and, as I was picking them up, thought, “What the hell are you doing, Kay?”.

Of course, I will never stop buying paper books. Impossible. I plan to die surrounded by more books than anyone could ever possibly read. But I am going to start weighing space vs. desire for every purchase. I don’t need to have the paper version when an ebook can provide the same experience.

Anyone else suffering from similar woes? I imagine there are plenty of us – especially among the blogger community!

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