[personal profile] madwriter
I've been collecting books for a long time, one way or another. I started gathering them about me from my earliest memories, picked out my own that I wanted to buy early on in elementary school, and at the age of 12 - after seeing Phil Farmer's 20,000 volume collection in this pre-Internet age when information was not necessarily at your fingertips - decided that I wanted my own personal library. So for thirty years I assumed that once I got my own house then that would be that - I'd get all the books shelved and turn the house into a permanent biblio-fixture.

Strangely enough, while I do still have several thousand books that aren't going anywhere shelved all over the house, now that I am a homeowner for the first time I've kind of accelerated the pace of giving books away.

It's not many - a small box every few weeks - and it's not exactly unprecedented. I've given away hundreds of books over the past fifteen years, since my first big move. But I've never owned a house before, been able to put the shelves and books exactly where I wanted with no one (except perhaps structural engineers) to gainsay me, and I hadn't expected to keep purging once I did.

I don't have enough shelves, and I don't want to add any more shelves to the library room since it's not a ground floor, but it's not really a space issue. I can always get and fit more shelving. And sometimes I'll look at the giveaway box and think, "Why not keep them? When you've already got a few thousand, what difference will an extra dozen or two make?"

The best answer I can come up with is, while as counter-intuitive as they may have seemed to the pre-house owner me, I'm still getting rid of books because I'm a homeowner.

Not over space, not over crowding from shelves, but because now that I own a home I've been filling it in a permanent way with things that are meaningful to me. Along with books, things like family heirlooms, pictures I particularly like, and the odd bits here and there like favorite antiques and various types of replica weapons have been finding nooks and crannies in ways that they never could while I was renting. Since I'm optimistically assuming my home ownership status is permanent, I want the things around me to be that much more meaningful.

And some things - even books, I shudder to say - aren't quite making the cut. Things I lugged through ten moves over the last twenty-one years are going away, being fostered by the local Goodwill or Better World Books.

Maybe I'll miss some of them. I have replaced a handful of books I've given away over the years - though if I do any book replacing I'll be starting with the two hundred plus I ended up having to throw out due to mildew damage. One thing I can guarantee, though - one way or another, if you come to visit with me, you're still going to be surrounded by books.


New Words: 2100 (800 / 1300) on chapter 21 ("Soren") of No Word in Death's Favor. Friend, sometimes rival, and new official spymaster Sionnan has summoned Soren to the prison cell of their old friend and sometimes rival Bondur. Bondur has been charged with plotting against the government, though in reality he was trying to do something much nastier.

Total Words: 97,800.

NonNaNoWriMo Total Words: 13,100.

Reasons For Stopping: Was falling asleep (before I started writing, not because of what I was writing) / Wanting to finish up the latest Publishers Weekly review book.

Mammalian Assistance: None, because I was hardening my heart that way to get work done.

Exercise: Walks around the neighborhood with Tucker the Big Dog.

Stimulants: Ice cream sandwiches, including of the Neapolitan kind.

Today's Opening Passages:

Saturday: When Daromas’ new Minister of Information summoned Soren to the palace from the Carrion Crow—from one side of the city to the other both geographically and socially—she didn’t come herself, though Soren knew that didn’t mean much. She had plenty of help to carry out her business these days, along with plenty to keep her busy if his own sources were halfway true. And he knew it really wouldn’t do for the new spymaster to be seen at the Carrion Crow so soon after the murders of the Museon apprentices and squires. He was also certain she wouldn’t summon him directly there without good cause.

Sunday: They did get a few second glances once they were aiming purposefully through the palace’s corridors, though the second glances were always, again, enough to confirm that these were men whose business should not be waylaid. Or so it was in the more elaborately ornate and brightly decorated outer portions of the palace, the one built by old King Phoros when he wanted to prove that Shalakar was the pinnacle of all civilization. Once Soren and the spy moved into the older part, grimly close-carved stone and built for sieges rather than pageantry — a part Soren decided he liked immensely — they hardly got a glance. Here were the dirty-hands enclaves of ruling an empire in all but name, what most Shalkarians tended to be either ignorant of or perfectly happy to let others deal with. Here was where the palace buried itself deep in Mount Tayber as if daring all nations and powers to try rooting it out.

Darling Du Jour: Nothing springs out at me.

Non-Research / Review Books In Process: Cline; Stirling; Follett.

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