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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

And Then I Hit Fiction Part 2

This is part 2 of my task of pruning my fiction books. For part 1, please see last Thursday's post.

Going through my boxes of books was hard, really hard, but as the hours/days went on and I could see the boxes that were going versus the boxes that were staying, a funny thing happened. I started to feel lighter. I didn't have to own every book an author had ever written (unless she was one of my special authors). I didn't have to own every book in a series, whether it be by one author or a continuity series with many authors.

I could keep only the books I loved!

It was a good feeling and I started to be tougher on which titles I was holding on to. I also made a second pass through the Maybe Box and got rid of more. I also added more to the Keep Box, too, just so y'all don't think I suddenly went all Viking invader on my collection.

And then, on Day Four, I reached the shelves.

This was its own special problem. When I'd moved into my house six years ago, my To Be Read (TBR) pile and my keepers got jumbled together. It got worse when my mom put the books on the shelves for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful she did it because I was on deadline at that time, but she didn't know that Jayne Ann Krentz also wrote as Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle and Jayne Bently and she didn't know that I kept all these books together.

The bigger problem, though, was my mom didn't know which books I'd read and which ones I hadn't. I never crease a spine when I read—I'm anal like that—so they all looked brand new. This became a huge issue for me as I went through the bookcases. Did I not remember a book because it was forgettable? Or did I not remember it because it was part of my TBR pile?

You're thinking: Look at your spreadsheet, idiot. J That didn't help. Some books that were keepers, but that I'd read in the early days, had no rating attached to it. Was I parting with an old friend I'd merely forgotten and would regret losing? Or was I looking at a book I'd never read?

The new rule of thumb was to read the back cover. If I had no memory of it, and if it didn't sound like something I wanted to read now, it went. Nearly every historical romance I stumbled across was put into the Go Box. I used to read historical, but now I have zero interest in those titles. Books I knew I'd bought new and had never read also got put in the Go Box.

And ran across old favorites.

Usually, I remembered them as soon as I held them. The story would come back to me and I'd want to re-read it right there and then. I resisted.

I also rediscovered a few favorites. There was one I looked at and had no memory of the cover or that I'd ever read this author before—until I read the back cover. I didn't make it through the first paragraph before I was like OMG! I loved this book! How sad that it was lost amid the 5000 other books I owned.